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National training surveys ask doctors about burnout

We’ve asked doctors about the impact of burnout and exhaustion on their medical education and training.

As part of this year’s national training surveys, we’ve asked trainees and those who train them a series of questions around wellbeing and the impact tiredness and workload have on them.

It’s the first time burnout has been addressed by specific questions in the national training surveys, which seek the views of around 55,000 doctors in training and 45,000 senior doctors who act as trainers.

Last year’s surveys highlighted that more than 40% of trainees rated the intensity of their work as ‘heavy’ or ‘very heavy’. And showed that 22% felt short of sleep while at work.

It also revealed the extent to which trainers had to fit their training roles around daily duties as either consultants or GPs, and that 75% of them worked beyond their rostered hours each week.

Identifying areas for improvement

‘We recognise that this is a challenging time,’ explains Dr Colin Melville, our Director of Education and Standards. ‘Many doctors are very concerned about the system pressures across all four UK countries and we know that this winter has been particularly hard for both doctors in training and trainers.

'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.'

What are the national training surveys?

Every year we survey all doctors in training and trainers for their views.

This helps us make sure doctors in training receive high-quality training in a safe and effective clinical environment, and trainers are well supported in their role. The results are also used by medical education bodies and local organisations to identify areas of good practice or issues to improve.

Last year, 53,335 doctors in training completed the surveys, along with 24,577 senior doctors who deliver training.