One in five young doctors battling burnout symptoms

One in five young doctors battling burnout symptoms

The number of doctors under 35 years of age struggling with burnout symptoms has increased significantly over the past two years, according to the biennial Quickscan Bezieling study by care providers’ organisation VvAA. In 2017, 13 percent of young doctors struggled with burnout symptoms. Now, in 2019, this figure has risen to 20 percent!

Balancing work and home life

According to the research, which saw 2.000 people participate, including medical specialists, GPs, physiotherapists, dentists and vets, in general, care providers suffer less from burnout symptoms than the average Dutch person, 12 percent compared to 15 percent respectively. However, this image changes drastically when one zooms in on the youngest group of caregivers.

In the case of young care providers under the age of 35, an increase of burnout symptoms can be seen, with 13 percent of this group suffering from such symptoms in 2017 and 20 percent in 2019. According to the researchers, the increase in burnout symptoms may have a possible connection to the balance between work and home life. According to the report, this balance has gotten worse.

Thomas Schok, a board member of the VvAA, expressed that the situation of young doctors now is very different from that of earlier generations when “the old surgical boss had a wife at home who cooked the food and took care of the children”. Nowadays, young doctors have partners who also work, so the household chores are shared and that means that doctors also need to pull their weight at home too.

Starting a movement

When young care providers were asked about the future, only a third said they wanted to stay working in the care sector until pension age. Four doctors’ advocacy groups, including the VvAA, feel that the figures concerning the wellbeing of doctors are unacceptable.

These groups, De Jonge Specialist (The Young Specialist), Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (LAD) (National Association of Doctors in Employment), VvAA and Landelijke Organisatie van Aspirant Huisartsen (National Organisation of Aspiring General Practitioners), will start a movement this Wednesday to improve the wellbeing of young doctors. They believe that the mental wellbeing of doctors is crucial for good and safe care.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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