Views of senior UK doctors about working in medicine: questionnaire survey.
Lambert TW., Smith F., Goldacre MJ.
OBJECTIVES: We surveyed the UK medical qualifiers of 1993. We asked closed questions about their careers; and invited them to give us comments, if they wished, about any aspect of their work. Our aim in this paper is to report on the topics that this senior cohort of UK-trained doctors who work in UK medicine raised with us. DESIGN: Questionnaire survey. PARTICIPANTS: 3479 contactable UK-trained medical graduates of 1993. SETTING: UK. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Comments made by doctors about their work, and their views about medical careers and training in the UK. METHOD: Postal and email questionnaires. RESULTS: Response rate was 72% (2507); 2252 were working in UK medicine, 816 (36%) of whom provided comments. Positive comments outweighed negative in the areas of their own job satisfaction and satisfaction with their training. However, 23% of doctors who commented expressed dissatisfaction with aspects of junior doctors' training, the impact of working time regulations, and with the requirement for doctors to make earlier career decisions than in the past about their choice of specialty. Some doctors were concerned about government health service policy; others were dissatisfied with the availability of family-friendly/part-time work, and we are concerned about attitudes to gender and work-life balance. CONCLUSIONS: Though satisfied with their own training and their current position, many senior doctors felt that changes to working hours and postgraduate training had reduced the level of experience gained by newer graduates. They were also concerned about government policy interventions.