junior doctors say they fear burn-out

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					                Age                                                     Brief: RANZCA
                Monday 20/10/2008
                Page: 8
                Section: General News
                Region: Melbourne Circulation: 208,000
                Type: Capital City Daily
                Size: 120.46 sq.cms.
                Published: MTWTFS-

junior doctors say
they fear burn-out
By NICK MILLER                     their early careers," Dr Capo-
HEALTH EDITOR                      lingua said. "This starts with
                                   more doctors in hospitals, safe
TWO-THIRDS of young doctors        working hours and appropriate
are so overworked that they face   rostering."
burn-out, and many are so             Most of the surveyed doctors
fatigued   they are putting        said they used time with family
patients at risk, a survey has     and friends to help cope with
found.                             the stress of their jobs. However,
   The national survey of 914      8.6% said alcohol was their
junior doctors across Australia    secondary coping strategy.
and New Zealand found that            While more than 75% of res-
more than half the respondents     pondents enjoyed their work,
were at risk of trauma or "com-    almost half felt it was not what
passion fatigue" as a result of    they had expected it to be.
stress at work. Nearly a third        Dr Alex Markwell, chair-
reported working unsafe hours,     woman of the AMA council of
and half had worked an average     doctors in training, said the
of 50 or more hours a week in      council had commissioned the
the previous year.                 survey after a number of tragic
   More than half the doctors      cases linked to overwork,
said an "adverse event" could      including the suicide of junior
occur because of their high        doctors.
workload.                             "Doctors are very dedicated
   Australian Medical Associ-      and want to deliver the best
ation president Rosanna            care, but the system isnt necess-
Capolingua said there was an       arily allowing us to do that," Dr
urgent need for more junior        Markwell said.
doctors in the public hospital        She said the solution was
system.                            access to GP-like health care
   "It's up to all involved to     and improving rostering so
ensure they are properly sup-      doctors could get leave and
ported in this crucial part of enough sleep.

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