Almost half GPs polled have thought about leaving profession due to personal wellbeing concerns, finds survey

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6th December 2019 13:21 - Health

A Survey of UK based Medical Protection Society members has found that almost one in two have thought about leaving the profession due to concerns over personal wellbeing.  

The research, titled Breaking the Burnout Cycle - keeping doctors and patients safe also found that more than half (52%) reported not feeling satisfied with their work/life balance. 

The research sought to find out more about how prevalent burnout (recently recognised by WHO as chronic workplace stress that has not been managed successfully) is amongst doctors. 

It found that four in 10 GPs who are Medical Protection Society members said they often or always began their day feeling tired, while three in five said that they don't feel that their personal wellbeing is a priority of the line manager or GP Partner at their surgery. 

Two in five (40%) said they do not feel able to take a break during their time at work to eat and drink, while a quarter reported that they are ‘not’ or ‘not at all confident’ that where they work is a safe environment. 

The research also found that more than  half (57%) the doctors polled felt unable to take a break in between seeing patients who required clinically demanding procedures. However, more than three-quarters of doctors ( 74%) said they would step in to cover a colleague's shift for a short time, so that they could take a break. 

The survey also revealed that many of the GPs surveyed find it hard to say no when asked to undertake extra tasks, with 65% agreeing or strongly agreeing that this describes their experience.  

Almost half the GPs polled likened their daily work to feeling like they were on a treadmill (47%) with the same percentage feeling that the workload within their practice is not evenly allocated. 

The survey also found that almost three in ten GPs do not feel appreciated in the workplace, and 30% said they were feeling disillusioned in their work. 

Prof Dame Jane Dacre, President of the MPS said of the research: 

“As leaders, managers and peers we are all responsible for identifying signs of burnout in ourselves and others and in working together to develop strategies to enhance personal resilience." 

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