GMC asks doctors about burnout

DOCTORS are being asked about the impact of burnout and exhaustion for the first time as part of the General Medical Council’s annual national training survey (NTS).

The new questions have been sent to 55,000 doctors in training and 45,000 senior doctors who act as trainers. They cover issues such as work-life balance, tiredness during and after work and the effect this may have on a doctor.

It follows last year’s NTS which revealed the heavy workloads most doctors were managing. Three-quarters of trainers said they worked beyond their rostered hours each week to fit in the additional duties, while 40 per cent rated the intensity of their work by day as “heavy” or “very heavy”. More than a fifth (22 per cent) of trainee doctors said they felt short of sleep while at work.

The GMC now hopes to find out more specific detail on the impact of tiredness and workload.

GMC Director of Education and Standards Dr Colin Melville said many doctors across the UK were “very concerned” about pressures on the healthcare system and that this winter has been “particularly hard” for doctors in training and trainers.

He added: “By giving their views about the quality of training they receive and the environments they’re working in, doctors are providing the data we need to identify where improvements are required.”

The survey remains open until May 2.