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GPs go forth

Nearly 50% of trainee doctors have considered quitting due to personal wellbeing

Almost half of trainee doctors have considered leaving their job due to “reasons of personal wellbeing”, a survey has found. 

Nearly 43% have considered leaving their careers, according to a new survey of 275 doctors by defence organisation Medical Protection Society (MPS).

The survey also found that more than half of trainee doctors surveyed also do not feel encouraged to discuss wellbeing issues, and 70% also feel their concerns are not prioritised by line managers.

It also found that 90% of junior doctors said they do not have a dedicated staff member to turn to, which echoes a study by the GMC earlier this year which found that trainee doctors were unsure who to approach at work about wellbeing concerns, following mounting evidence that junior doctors are facing unprecedented pressures particularly during their foundation years. 

MPS education lead Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, said: ’While nearly half of trainee doctors would recommend medicine as a career there are clearly challenges which highlight the importance in building an environment which allows new doctors to succeed and harness the enthusiasm they have.

‘Just under two thirds do not or do not at all feel supported by their practice or hospital management. It is therefore imperative that there is the right mix of support from clinical leaders, peers and managers, as this can help prevent the loss of these hard-working and highly skilled doctors.’

The survey also revealed that new doctors were prepared to support their peers with 87% agreeing they would be prepared to cover a colleague’s work for a short period, so that they could take a break.

MPS called on NHS organisations in England fully commit to the implementation of Health Education England’s (HEE) recommendation to establish Workforce Wellbeing Guardians in every NHS organisation by 2022, with similar actions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

HEE has previously pledged to support trainees with high quality supervision as part of its commitment to support doctors during their transition from medical school to working as doctors.

It follows a review of postgraduate medical training and the subsequent report ’Supported from the start; ready for the future’.

The document set out how improvements in training could be implemented aross England to ensure foundation doctors feel valued, supported and able to work safely.

Readers' comments (4)

  • For those that do not quit, they struggle to provide a substandard service and fear of GMC reprisals adds to their stress until finally something snaps.

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  • I think these surveys should be banned. They do nothing other than demoralize us. Life is a journey, and we all go through peak and trough, rough and smooth. An industry seems to have evolved around such issues, with lots of money being siphoned off to enterpreuners who are turning up in hospitals and health centres running courses, teaching how to beat stress, how to communicate, and the list is endless.

    The fact is that life today is so much better, there is so much we can do. Infant mortality is down to just about 4, life expectancy is up to 80 plus. Most medical students own a Car, have a work-life balance built into their appraisal. What more do we want, just get on with life!

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  • Hi Nikhil!
    Im sorry if collecting information abut your profession demoralises you. If you don't collect feedback, from a management perspective, then you don't know whats going on, which is basically sticking your head in the sand. I agree with your sentiment about the industry springing up, but did you ever wonder is that because the job has changed and become more.... 'intolerable' is the polite word I will use to avoid being censored. I think the survey ties up my my observations of my UK colleagues. Life might be longer, as you observe, though that has nothing to do with ensuring a content and happy workforce, a depressed workforce does not give good service, how you feel as an individual feeds through in your contacts with other people. For me the take home message is that someone at the top needs to start getting a grip with were the profession is going wrong i.e. making it a less s****y job if they want to keep attracting talented people in..... who wants to work in a miserable work force? You can make more money with less stress in banking, law, engineering etc I know because I have friends in these occupations and the NHS is a lot less attractive. I left the UK because what the job had become and enjoy my work in Australia. Your proposed solution i.e. shut up and put up, isn't really going to achieve anything other than reinforce the drive for people to move out of the NHS, do private, botox, emigrate etc. Oh, I forgot to ask what your career aspirations are.... Are you hoping to work for NHSE? If so I think you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people......

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  • Ultimately its what you want to do in life and not what the government/HEE/DHS/NHSI/NHSE wants you to do just because there is a workforce shortage in a certain speciality. Gauging from previous responses from these bodies in the past they are just knee jerk reactions. They keep proving that history repeats itself, in ten years time these same bodies would be encouraging people to come into hospital medicine, in fact its already happening- acute medicine/ a&e. The reason for all the misery and unhappiness in medicine is because of these misguided policies. LETS NOW START THINKING FROM THE TRAINEES PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO THEY WANT? FOR ONCE

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