Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus


BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:S3-7187

Another compelling episode of the BMA's cohort study of junior doctors' careers, which, after three years, is starting to produce some interesting data on what the ‘Generation X' effect actually means. Three years after graduation, only 1 in 50 junior doctors have left the workforce for good, but 1 in 5 have spent time out of the workforce, mostly to work or travel abroad. This is the big change since the seventies and eighties, when fewer than 1 in 10 juniors took a career break. Managers might like to ponder why juniors can't “broaden their horizons” within the NHS, and also note that career breaks for research, further training, and family life are likely to continue throughout a doctor's career trajectory. Career intentions are changing too, as increasing numbers opt for general practice. 70% have a strong or very strong desire to practise medicine, and only 2% regret ever having become a doctor.

View Abstract