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Working in healthcare
One only needs to open any newspaper or twitter feed to witness the adversities that those working in every forum of healthcare are experiencing.1 They discuss the struggles, frustrations and crises that are ongoing in the healthcare setting throughout the world. Although some of these dominate our headlines, it is time to refocus our attention on our patients, the care they are receiving and ways of improving the training of our future doctors, in the face of exponential change in medical technology and healthcare.
Although physician burnout has always been an unfortunate but ever-present reality of medical practice, increasing levels of stress and increased the clinical burden in the setting of staff attrition are pushing doctors to breaking point.2–4 This is one factor that has been cited by doctors who have mass migrated to sunnier climes, with the Health Workforce Research Group based at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland noting that over 50% of medical trainees are reporting increased work-related stress and reduced staffing levels in our jurisdiction.5 This coupled with perceived better opportunities abroad is leading to a ‘brain-drain’ of some of the sharpest and most talented home-grown physicians.6
The introduction of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) in 1993 and gradual transposition into law was an initiative to prevent employees from working excessively long hours, to the detriment of their physical and mental health, as well as that of those they treat.7 This has subsequently led to a reduction in rostered working …
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