The state of medical education and practice in the UK Barometer survey 2022

We commissioned IFF Research to run our annual survey about doctors’ workplace experiences in the UK. The survey explored the challenges and pressures doctors are facing, their current working patterns, and their future career intentions.

Key findings

  • Just half (50%) of doctors were satisfied with their day-to-day work. The proportion of dissatisfied doctors (43%) has increased sharply and is much higher than in 2021 (22%), 2020 (17%), or 2019 (30%).
  • Workloads have increased, with 70% of doctors reporting that they are frequently working beyond rostered hours (up from 59% in 2021). 68% are finding it difficult to take breaks due to workload intensity (up from 49% in 2021) and 42% are feeling unable to cope with their workload (up from 30% in 2021). 
  • The proportion of doctors at high risk of burnout (25%) is also at the highest level seen over the four years of conducting this survey.
  • Seven in ten (70%) doctors provided mostly face-to-face care, with just 8% providing the majority of care remotely. Remote working has declined significantly since 2021 when almost half (46%) were providing mostly remote care.
  • While nine in ten (89%) doctors agreed that they have positive relationships with patients, more than two in five (44%) reported finding it difficult to provide their patients with the care needed at least once a week (up from 25% in 2021). 
  • Difficulty in managing patient expectations was associated with feeling unable to provide a sufficient level of care, feeling unable to cope with the workload, and taking steps towards leaving the UK profession.
  • The proportion of doctors taking hard steps towards leaving the UK profession has increased to 15% in 2022 – the highest proportion recorded in this survey.

Why we commissioned this research

Every year we report on The state of medical education and practice in the UK. We use our data, wider research evidence, and analysis to provide comprehensive insight into the profession.

The Barometer survey is one of the key sources of evidence that underpins our report. The survey runs annually and seeks to gain evidence of how doctors’ experiences of practicing in the UK are changing. This informs our work to support doctors and address the challenges and pressures they are encountering.

What did the research involve?

The questionnaire, as in previous years, covered doctors’ satisfaction in their working lives, career intentions over the next year, experiences in the workplace, and adaptations to pressurised environments.

4,269 doctors currently working in the UK completed the barometer survey between 6 September and 17 October 2022. To ensure findings are representative of all licensed doctors, weighting was applied using GMC population data on age, registration status, ethnicity, and place of primary medical qualification.

Full report

Download The state of medical education and practice Barometer survey 2022
Download The 2022 Barometer survey data tables