Most doctors would not recommend a career in medicine

Two-thirds of doctors would not recommend medicine as a career to their children, a new survey by the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) has found.

The survey of 1,845 GPs, hospital doctors and trainees found that while the majority said that they would still study medicine given their time again (62%), some 92% believe that working conditions in UK hospitals have deteriorated in the past decade and 93% are concerned about the number of doctors choosing to leave the profession.

In addition, 92% of respondents believe that current issues with the NHS are having a detrimental effect on recruitment, while 93% think hospital doctors are forced into uncomfortable decisions, such as discharging patients early to free up beds, due to current pressures in the NHS.

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund has been helping doctors, medical students and their families in times of crisis for 180 years. The charity provides financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to age, ill health, disability or bereavement.

This article has been provided by the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund for GP Connect

The RMBF has conducted the survey to tie in with its Together for Doctors campaign, which aims to highlight the need to offer support to medical professionals who are working under increased pressure.

Together for Doctors campaign

The campaign is urging any doctor in difficulty to reach out and access help and support.

The survey found that there is still stigma around asking for help and support in the medical profession. Over half (56%) of those surveyed think that doctors’ ‘personality type’ makes them particularly resilient when working under increasing pressure, however three-quarters (75%) think there is a lack of sympathy within the profession for doctors who seek help for stress and mental health issues.

The RMBF said that this could be explained by a ‘perceived bravado culture’ among doctors - some 93% of those surveyed believe that doctors place value on one another’s ability to work under pressure and cope with long hours without complaint.

The RMBF provides support to doctors and their families who are struggling with financial concerns, ill health or addiction. It has produced a free online guide called The Vital Signs, which highlights key pressure trigger points for doctors and signposts organisations and support networks for those in need of help and advice.

Fundraising support

The charity, which relies solely on voluntary donations, is hoping that the campaign will encourage doctors to fundraise for and support their colleagues by organising a ‘hospital hopping’ fundraising walk or teaming up for a ‘wear green and purple’ day at work. 

RMBF chief executive Steve Crone said: ‘Doctors work tirelessly to support us all in our times of need. Yet many feel unable to ask for help when things aren’t going well for them, either personally or professionally.  The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund is here to offer confidential support and advice, so I really would urge anyone who needs help to come forward.

‘The money the charity raises supports doctors and their families, and often comes from fellow doctors and their families. It helps a family rebuild their lives after a loved one’s accident, or helps to retrain a doctor after a long gap for cancer treatment. It could help a talented young medical student facing hardship to get through their final year and pass their exams.’

For more information on helping the RMBF to fundraise visit www.rmbf.org/fundraising or you can text ‘RMBF17 £5’ to 70070 to donate.

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