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24 January 2017

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have launched two new reports, Being a junior doctor: Experiences from the front line and Keeping medicine brilliant: Improving working conditions in the acute setting.


The NHS provides some of the highest-quality, most efficient and most accessible healthcare in the world, much of which is provided by junior doctors. Being a junior doctor can be very rewarding, but it is also intense and challenging. Despite the challenges, the high quality care they provide means that nearly all junior doctors feel valued by the patients they treat. We believe that medicine is a brilliant career, but also recognise that tangible action is needed from policymakers, employers and doctors themselves to ensure that it continues to be brilliant.


Being a junior doctor explores the experiences of junior doctors working at the frontline of the NHS and reveals that:


  • Seven in 10 junior doctors work on a rota that has a permanent gap
  • 96% of junior doctors feel valued by the patients they care for, but feel that they spend too much time away from them
  • 41% of junior doctors report that the burden of excessive administrative work poses a serious risk to patient safety in their hospital
  • Four in five junior doctors regularly experience excessive stress because of their job
  • One in four junior doctors report that their role has had a serious impact on their mental health


Doctors-in-training are the future of the medical profession and the NHS. It is vital that they get the support they need to progress and deliver the gold standard care that the NHS is famous for. We are calling for junior doctors to be:


  • Valued for the care they give to patients and provided with the facilities they need to deliver outstanding care
  • Supported in training and education, given the time and space for career planning and allowed the freedom to pursue a life outside of medicine
  • Motivated by a culture that respects, develops and engages them fully to ensure that the best care is provided for patients and the future of the NHS


Keeping medicine brilliant is being published alongside Being a junior doctor, to further explore the issues revealed by the research and to provide more specific and practical guidance and recommendations for trusts and senior NHS leaders to improve the wellbeing of doctors so that they can continue to provide the high quality, effective care that patients deserve.



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