Editor’s Choice: Improving morale

Authors: Tom Moberly 

Publication date:  11 Feb 2016


Low morale among junior doctors seems to be rising steadily, if slowly, up the political agenda.

Last week David Dalton, who acts as lead negotiator for the government over the junior doctor contract, said that the government should “commission a review of the longstanding concerns with recommendations to all parties for action which can improve the welfare and morale of trainees” [Link] . This followed a call last month, from a team at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health, for policymakers to tackle UK doctors’ low satisfaction with the amount of leisure time available to them.

Two articles in this week’s BMJ Careers look at issues around doctors’ job satisfaction. John Jolly and colleagues have found that trainees in run-through programmes are more likely to take time out of their training programmes [Link] . Although Jolly and colleagues don’t discuss trainees’ reasons for taking time out of training, many of these trainees are likely to have done so to gain more satisfying work or life experiences outside their training programme.

William Wilson-Theaker looked into junior doctors’ quality of life during the first year of their foundation training at his hospital trust [Link] . He argues that senior support, opportunities for development, and the ability to leave on time could all be improved to ensure that junior doctors feel well supported in their roles.

As well as identifying problems, Wilson-Theaker was able to work towards solutions by meeting the trust’s medical director to discuss some of the issues he uncovered. As a result changes were made, such as moving the time of cardiology ward rounds to allow doctors to leave on time.

● Follow Tom Moberly on Twitter @tommoberly

Tom Moberly editor BMJ Careers

 tmoberly@bmj.com

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: