Hospital Dr News

Most F1s positive about NHS career but they still need more support

A third of F1s found the experience of their first year in medicine better than they had expected.

A poll of 450 newly qualified doctors, who have completed one year of training, comes as thousands of new doctors are just starting their careers.

80% of newly qualified doctors say they have enjoyed their first year, however only six out of ten say they are excited about their future careers, according to the poll by Medical Protection.

79% intend to continue as doctors, with the challenges including heavy workloads, adjusting to shifts and lack of sleep.

The F1s also highlighted a number of key challenges in dealing with patients. 85% said they found not having enough time to give patients the care they need most challenging.

This was followed by managing unrealistic expectations (73%), the fear of being sued or complained about (27%), abusive or aggressive patients (26%), difficult conversations (26%) and competing with “Dr Google” (13%).

87% said they had experienced stress and anxiety in their first year.

Dr Gordon McDavid, Medicolegal Adviser at Medical Protection, said: “In our survey, young doctors tell us they struggle with heavy workloads, long hours, lack of sleep, isolation and difficulties building working relationships due to frequent rotations. It is vital all new doctors seek support from their supervisors, and take care of their health.

“But they also point to other challenges from managing high patient expectations, self-diagnosing online and coping with aggressive behaviour, right through to handling difficult conversations such as informing relatives of the death of a loved one, and the fear of being sued or complained about.

“Over the coming weeks, a cohort of new junior doctors will be starting out on the wards, putting their training into practice. While there will be challenges, it is important to build an environment which allows them to succeed and harness the enthusiasm new doctors have. The right mix of support from clinical leaders, peers and managers can help prevent the loss of these hard-working and highly skilled doctors.”

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