Quarter of young doctors is overworked and considers leaving the profession: survey

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

A quarter of trainee medical specialists are considering leaving the profession because of long working hours and a lack of contact with patients, a survey among 4,200 members of the  organisation for junior doctors De Jonge Specialist has shown.

Some 8% do leave, often when they are already ten years into their training, organisation chairwoman Steffi Rombouts told broadcaster NOS. At the same time, almost 100% of the respondents said they were proud of their calling.

‘That is a percentage we should cherish,’ Rombouts said. ‘But we’re not doing a very good job of it because despite their enthusiasm, a quarter of the young specialists are considering taking up a different career. They feel they constantly in a hurry and don’t have enough time with patients.’

Respondents also complained about a lack of supervision and almost four in 10 said they were unable to get their supervisor’s opinion at times. ‘That shouldn’t happen but probably indicates senior specialists are under pressure as well,’ Rombouts told the broadcaster.

Young doctors, three quarters of whom do not raise the problem with their supervisor, must speak out more, and structural overtime must become a thing of the past, Rombouts said.

‘If doctors are allowed to spend more time with patients so questions can be properly answered I am convinced they will come back less frequently and that would be in everyone’s interests, insurers included.’

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