According to GMC (General Medical Council) survey results released today, nearly a quarter of trainee doctors report that their work makes them feel "burnt out", and almost one in three say that they often feel "exhausted" in the morning at the thought of another shift.
In addition, almost half of trainees report regularly working beyond their rostered hours, with 40% describing the intensity of their work as "heavy or very heavy".
Responding to the initial findings from the GMC’s annual national training survey, Dr David Evans, Vice President for Training and Assessment at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:
“This survey raises serious concerns about the wellbeing of trainee doctors. We know that for paediatric trainees, workforce pressures and falling recruitment numbers have a major impact on morale. Almost one in five paediatric trainee positions are currently vacant, leading to severely difficult working environments where young doctors feel stressed and lack time for vital training and education.
"Paediatric trainees express great enthusiasm for their chosen speciality, and are hard-working and passionate in their dedication to treating children. However, the current workforce situation is unsustainable and putting health services at breaking point. We’re pleased that the Government’s long-term plan for the NHS in England includes a comprehensive workforce strategy, but we need more clarity about what this will entail.
"We need funding for an increase in the number of paediatric trainee places to 465 in each training year for the next five years in order to see a sufficient expansion of the workforce. We also ask that the wellbeing of our trainees is valued and the quality of their training is enhanced; protected time for training is essential to ensure they gain the educational opportunities they need to progress in their careers. This survey should be a wake-up call for governments across the UK, who must act without delay to support trainee doctors and ensure a safe, sustainable health service for everyone”.