RCP president Professor Dame Jane Dacre discusses the General Medical Council's (GMC's) initial findings from its annual national training surveys.
The UK-wide poll of more than 70,000 doctors in training and doctors who act as trainers include nearly a quarter of trainee doctors saying their work makes them feel ‘burnt out’, and almost one in three saying they are often ‘exhausted’ in the morning at the thought of another shift. Forty per cent described the intensity of their work as ‘heavy or very heavy’.
Commenting, Professor Dame Jane Dacre said:
Unfortunately these results make all too familiar reading. Again we hear of trainee doctors feeling exhausted and finding it difficult to make time for their educational needs.
The survey echoes our own findings in this year’s physician census and wellbeing survey. Doctors report working around 10% more than their contracted hours and one in four trainees said that if they could turn back time, they would not choose medicine as a career again. Across the board the reason for doctors’ dissatisfaction is clear – unfilled vacancies, rota gaps and poor work life balance.
The growing pressure in clinical environments is not conducive to safe patient care and employers have a responsibility to address these issues now. Our forthcoming report into medical staffing backs the GMC’s call that training must be protected, and will recommend how the NHS can be more safely staffed in the future.