Personal Views

The stress: is it our fault?

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 13 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:120

In the early 1970s, during the battles over the excessive hours worked by junior hospital doctors, my name was mentioned in the press because one week I had worked for 139 hours. This was not just being on call but actually working in an obstetrics and gynaecology department. It was not me alone, of course, but thousands of us. My name was mentioned, but just as a representative of junior doctors. What follows is not me bemoaning my lot as a general practitioner, but I am trying to draw attention to the problem and to tell doctors that they are anything but alone.

Over the years the workload, and thus the stress, in general practice has increased dramatically. This increasing workload should be seen as productivity but has not been matched by increased remuneration, for if it …

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