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Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:57
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Doctors unprepared for life in the NHS
The British Medical Association’s annual conference yesterday heard that doctors felt unprepared for working life in the NHS after completing medical school.

The BMA followed 543 doctors over the 10-year period since they qualified in 1995. In the final survey, 60 per cent of doctors said that life in the health service had not been what they expected when they qualified.

Respondents said that poor quality of life, greater stress, long hours, lack of independence and the pressure of government targets all contributed to their disillusionment.

Some said that they had been very idealistic at medical school and unprepared for the reality of life as a doctor.

But others said the surprise had been a pleasant one, with more flexibility and a better quality of life than they had expected.

Some said they had found satisfying careers as GPs, and called for students to get more experience of general practice at an earlier stage of their careers.

Mr Simon Eccles, chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said:

“I’m dismayed that so many medical students are entering the profession without feeling properly prepared. Medical schools should listen to this strong message from doctors who are coming to the end of their training and act accordingly.

“I’m delighted that so many new GPs seem so happy with their careers; under the current shake-up of doctors’ training, there will be far more exposure to general practice, and that’s to be welcomed.”


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