Trainee doctors suffer with psychological impact of pandemic

More than 40 per cent of junior doctors said they were suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or burnout which had worsened because of the pandemic, in a survey conducted in April 2021 by the BMA

The survey also found that 60 per cent also reported that their current levels of fatigue or exhaustion were higher than normal.

The chair of the BMA Junior Doctors committee has called for better support from the Government, the NHS and education bodies to help trainee doctors deal with the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The calls come as the BMA launches a new wellbeing checklist for junior doctors. The tool will allow trainees to audit trusts and will help inform calls for improved wellbeing support as a result of the evidence gathered.

In a recent speech to the Junior Doctor Conference 2021, chair of the BMA Junior Doctors committee Dr Sarah Hallett, warned that the wellbeing of staff must be taken seriously after a brutal year, urging health leaders to show the "political and institutional will" to commit to improving the working lives of junior doctors.

Dr Hallett will say: "Junior doctors have been caught in a perfect storm, often first to see patients, bearing the brunt of this national crisis, while in many cases, our training and our progression through our careers has been put on hold.

"We must see action from organisations like the NHS, the statutory education bodies and the Government, to step up and work with us to put in place real, practical, support to deal with these issues affecting our morale, our training and our wellbeing.

"We need initiatives to keep junior doctors progressing through their training and in the workforce, or we risk losing a generation of doctors, and it is our patients who will feel the consequences of that disaster."

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