British doctors nearly as burned out as American docs, survey finds

Ninety-percent of respondents said that their current working, training, or studying has impacted their mental condition in some way.

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Two out of five (40%) British doctors are buckling under psychological stress like depression, anxiety, or stress, according to a survey of 4,300 doctors and medical students, conducted by the British Medical Association and published on StudyFinds. In addition, 80% are at risk of burnout, especially younger doctors.

Doctors working longer hours appear to be most at risk of suffering psychological problems.


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Ninety-percent of respondents said that their current working, training, or studying has impacted their mental condition in some way. However, younger doctors were most likely to say that they didn’t know how to get help from their employers.

Students are already showing signs of stress as well, not just doctors.

The cycle is vicious, leading some to use substances to cope. For those docs who receive an official mental-health diagnosis, 62% reported using alcohol, drugs, or self-medicating/self-prescribing to deal with their job. And doctors with mental health conditions feel less able to take on additional duties, reducing their capacity on the job. They were also more likely to worry about making mistakes.

This new info is consistent with a larger trend of physician burnout. A Mayo Clinic study from 2018 showed that 54% of physicians reported signs of burnout in a survey.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.