Intended for healthcare professionals


Editor’s Choice: Best job in the world?

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 01 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5144
  1. Tom Moberly, editor, BMJ Careers
  1. tmoberly{at}

Historically, few workers have gained more satisfaction from their jobs than UK doctors in the 21st century. Figures released by the Cabinet Office last year showed that workers in only six of 274 occupations studied were happier than medical practitioners. Members of the clergy, chief executives, and company secretaries were more likely than doctors to be satisfied with their lives, but not many others were, and doctors were by far the most satisfied of the traditional professional groups. Dentists lagged behind in 31st place, while solicitors and accountants were in 44th and 45th places, respectively.

That may all be about to change, as frustration with changes to the junior doctor and consultant contracts, rising workloads, suffocating regulation, and pay stagnation all erode doctors’ morale. As Kathy Oxtoby reports this week (, the way doctors feel about their jobs is changing. Shifting public expectations, reductions in the time available to spend with patients, and the erosion of a sense of teamwork have all added to the pressure doctors are under in their working lives. Nonetheless, many still see medicine as a rewarding career, and one that they would recommend to those in the next generation who are considering their careers options.

Later this month, as part of the BMJ Live event, BMJ Careers will be hosting a debate on whether medicine is the best career in the world. Clare Gerada and Helgi Johannsson will speak for optimists, arguing that there is no job in the world to match being a doctor. Pete Deveson and Partha Kar will represent the more pessimistic—or perhaps realistic—view that careers in medicine have some room to improve. The debate will take place at 6.45 pm on 23 October, and further details about the debate, and information on booking, are at

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