Two thirds of junior doctors worry about lack of support from seniors, survey finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5056
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers

As over 7000 foundation year 1 doctors begin their rotations in hospitals, the fears of new doctors have again been highlighted in poll findings.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) conducted a survey of 704 junior doctors and medical students. It found that 60% of newly qualified and trainee doctors were worried about lack of support from more senior colleagues. The findings come after a similar survey, carried out by the Medical Protection Society, found that half of junior doctors had concerns about the quality of care in their workplace.1 Junior doctors across the UK began their first hospital rotations on 5 August.

The MDU found that working long hours was a worry for over two thirds (70%) of junior doctors and medical students, and nearly half (45%) of junior doctors surveyed (126 of 277) said that they had struggled to maintain a good work-life balance since graduating.

Richenda Tisdale, an MDU medicolegal adviser, said that junior doctors needed to be aware that they could turn to colleagues with concerns or questions. “Senior doctors in the team have an important role to play, but they can also get support from their medical defence organisation such as the MDU,” she said.

“We are here to offer guidance and advice on any ethical dilemmas or concerns that may arise throughout their medical career, and junior doctors should not be afraid of using us if they need to at any time, especially in those first few weeks.”


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