Doctors thinking about not being doctors any more.
This is not a good situation for any of us.
When any of us are in a car crash - don't we want the local A+E department to be well staffed with interested and well trained medics? When our child has a persistant fever don't we want to be able to book into see the GP.
Well - if we aren't all very careful - these privileges will no longer exist.
This impending exodus has happened because of a series of issues that include
government interventions in training, income and working styles
media portrayals of medicine and health
expectations of working life
So what should a medic who has had it with the above do?
Should they leave medicine?
Well some are on strike trying to protect their careers and hats off to them.
Leaving a vocation and something that you have worked so many years to achieve involves all sorts of heartache and yes - grieving.
But could "should I leave" actually be the wrong question
A better question might be
"should I explore all my career options?"
And I think the answer to that is yes.
I must say that even with consultant level medics who join our programmes - it is not uncommon for the presenting complaint to be "I want to leave medicine". However with a better career plan a surprising number then end up remaining ( although perhaps not full time) in clinical practice. Why? Because once a person no longer feels trapped and has other sources of income and there seems to be an interesting and motivating career plan ahead - the practice of medicine can easily start to be enjoyable again. Paradox perhaps - but I have seen this dozens of times.