18 March 2015


Burnout (or 'carer fatigue') is a subject close to my heart. 

Of my colleagues who I started with as a foundation doctor, I don't know a single one who, at some point, hasn't felt drained and exhausted to the point of becoming unwell.

I know that I've wanted to quit medicine a fair few times over the last 3.5 years, and I'm sure that's something that will happen again during my career.

The strain placed on doctors to work effectively despite (often) very demanding rotas seems counterproductive:  nursing staff are even often surprised by our unusual working schedule, and have frequently asked (across all of my many rotations), 'do you ever go home?' The answer often feels like 'no'. 

I've worked stints of shifts where you work 12 days consecutively, followed by 2 days off, and then another 12 days. Many of these days are in excess of 10 hours rota'ed.

The problem with junior staff complaining about this, is that consultants often feel that we are complaining unnecessarily, and that when they were junior doctors there was no European Working Time Directive. It's a difficult issue to address.

I've just completed the BMA burnout questionnaire (you can find it here), and the result wasn't particularly unexpected. 

Just food for thought.

1 comment:

peace said...

Oh take care good care. Glad you are back