A research study conducted by the University of Manchester has revealed that approximately 33% of GP Doctors intend to quit direct patient care within five years.
GP Doctors: How many intend to leave the profession?
Researchers from the University of Manchester have revealed that approximately 61% of GP Doctors over 50 intended to leave the profession, while one in every six (16%) said they were planning to. The average level of overall job satisfaction, measured between one (extremely dissatisfied) and seven (extremely satisfied), decreased by 0.2 points from 4.5 in 2019 to 4.3 in 2021.
However, over half of GP Doctors (51%) said they were satisfied with their job overall. Additionally, decreased satisfaction was particularly acute surrounding the areas of ‘recognition for good work’ and ‘satisfaction with variety of job.’
How was data for the survey collected?
Overall, hours of work demonstrated a slight decline for the second consecutive survey, falling from 40 hours per week in 2019, to 38.4 hours per week in 2021. The GP Work life Survey has been assessing job satisfaction and job stressors amongst GPs in England since 1999.
Participating GP Doctors are asked to complete a questionnaire, which requires them to rate their job satisfaction and the aspects of their jobs that they consider particularly stressful or satisfying, as well as their intentions and regards to future work.
What did the results reveal?
“The fact that 16% of GPs under the age of 50 are thinking about leaving their jobs is worrying and suggests that work is still needed to ensure that general practice is sustainable for the long term,” explained Professor Kath Checkland.
The survey has been conducted approximately every two years since 1999 – the 11th time being in 2021, with approximately 2,227 GP Doctors‘ responses being documented – providing evidence about changes over time. The data is utilised by the Department of Health and Social Care to inform their evidence to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body. It was conducted by the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Systems and Commissioning.
Professor Kath Check Land, leader of the study, concluded: “We are very grateful to the GPs Doctors who took time out to respond to our survey during this difficult year.
“It is not really surprising that job satisfaction has dropped amongst GPs during the pandemic, but the survey provides some evidence about the areas of work they are finding more stressful, which may help in designing ways to support them.
“The fact that 16% of GPs under the age of 50 are thinking about leaving their jobs is worrying and suggests that work is still needed to ensure that general practice is sustainable for the long term.”