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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.