Career focus: Reducing stress among junior doctors
Carole Luck listened to more than 400 junior doctors in her hospital trust, then implemented a series of measures to improve their lot
- By: Carole Luck
More is asked of our junior doctors than ever before: training is shorter, the career ladder is steeper, work is more intense, and public expectations are higher. Stress is inherent in a medical career, but excessive stress leads to poor performance and affects health care.12 What are the causes of unnecessary stress, and what can be done to limit them?
Over five years as a district clinical tutor in a large district general hospital, I discussed a variety of problems with over 400 junior doctors, mainly preregistration and senior house officers. The purpose of the interviews was to analyse the sources of stress in order to contain and reduce them.
A quarter of the junior doctors found career indecision a considerable cause of stress. In one case a senior house officer had always wanted to follow her father as a general physician. She failed the MRCP twice and hated nights