One in four junior doctors suffers from burn out, according to survey results published by the General Medical Council today.
The GMC has announced the findings from its annual national training survey of over 70,000 doctors at the Patient Safety Congress in Manchester today. The survey took place between March and May this year.
The survey revealed for the first time the extent to which burnout effects trainee doctors. It also revealed that almost one in three respondents are “exhausted” in the morning at the thought of another shift.
Almost half of trainee doctors reported “regularly working beyond their rostered hours” and around one in five said they feel “short of sleep” while at work.
Trainers also reported heavy workloads, with 40 per cent describing the intensity of their work as ‘heavy or very heavy’ and a third of them saying it was hard to find the time they need to fulfil their educational roles.
Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, said the survey’s findings that doctors are struggling to find time for essential training are a “major concern”.
“Training must be protected and it must be safe, and employers need to address this urgently”, Mr Massey said.
However, he stressed it is important that the “wider issues” around work-life balance, burn-out and exhausted are acted upon.
“As a regulator we are doing all we can to address doctors’ wellbeing and by giving them the confidence to raise concerns and have them acted on”, Mr Massey said. “But it will take investment to solve the issues doctors are telling us about.”
The GMC added it is analysing the results in more detail, and working with education providers to make sure improvements are made where training falls below expected standards.