The national Junior Medical Officer Welfare Study: a snapshot of intern life in Australia

Daniel C Heredia, Caroline S Rhodes, Suzanne E English, Dayna B Law, Anna C McElrea and Florian X Honeyball
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02881.x
Published online: 19 October 2009

To the Editor: The uniquely stressful nature of medical practice has been highlighted by many studies focusing largely on general practitioners, consultant physicians and senior hospital staff.1,2 Although overseas data confirm significant levels of stress and anxiety among junior medical officers (JMOs),3-5 few researchers have examined the cohort in Australia. Consequently, the JMO Welfare Study was initiated by junior doctors as a quality-improvement exercise to investigate aspects of intern life in Australia by quantifying levels of work-related stress, burnout and job satisfaction among JMOs.

  • 1 Hollywood Private Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 3 University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • 4 Redcliffe Hospital, Redcliffe, QLD.
  • 5 Nambour Medical Centre, Nambour, QLD.
  • 6 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


This study was supported by the Postgraduate Medical Councils of Western Australia and Queensland and the New South Wales Institute of Medical Education and Training, as well as their respective junior medical officers’ forums.

  • 1. McManus IC, Winder BC, Gordon D. The causal links between stress and burnout in a longitudinal study of UK doctors. Lancet 2002; 359: 2089-2090.
  • 2. Caplan RP. Stress, anxiety and depression in hospital consultants, general practitioners and senior health service managers. BMJ 1994; 309: 1261-1263.
  • 3. Antoniou AG, Davidson MJ, Cooper CL. Occupational stress, job satisfaction and health state in male and female junior hospital doctors in Greece. J Managerial Psychol 2003; 18: 592-621.
  • 4. Newbury-Birch D, Kamali F. Psychological stress, anxiety, depression, job satisfaction, and personality characteristics in preregistration house officers. Postgrad Med J 2001; 77: 109-111.
  • 5. Thomas NK. Resident burnout. JAMA 2004; 292: 2880-2889.
  • 6. Stamm BH. The ProQOL Manual: the Professional Quality of Life Scale: compassion satisfaction, burnout and compassion fatigue/secondary trauma scales. Baltimore: Sidran Press, 2008.


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