Against a backdrop of rising workloads and the need to recruit and retain a sustainable medical workforce, the report finds doctors moving away from traditional career and training paths. Career choices balancing wellbeing with work have become the norm and may signal a ‘new reality’.
Among notable trends is the rise in the number of doctors choosing to spend time working as a locum, practising medicine abroad, or even taking a year out, rather than going straight into specialty or GP training after the completion of their initial training.
Some do so because they’re unable to go into the specialty training they want straight away. But for many the pressures of working in stretched services are a major factor.
GMC analysis shows that doctors who paused before starting their specialty training were, on average, at less risk of burnout. The report also highlights growing popularity of GP specialist training, with a 6% increase in doctors joining. However, more doctors doesn’t necessarily mean an overall increase in GP availability, and concerns remain that patient demand is outstripping supply.
In addition, 45% of GPs reported that they work less than full time, and 36% have reduced their hours in the past year.