Distress and career regret in doctors: are we really that different to other professions?

Nicholas Glozier
Med J Aust 2023; 218 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51875
Published online: 3 April 2023

Health departments should support the professional training they require and show that their employees are valued

The COVID‐19 pandemic has again focused attention on the mental health and wellbeing of doctors, particularly those in training. An earlier meta‐analysis (54 studies during 1963–2015 that included a total of 17 560 trainee doctors) found that 21–43% (pooled estimate: 28.8%) had symptoms of depression during residency.1 The cross‐sectional online survey of Australian orthopaedic trainees in late 2021 reported by Kollias and colleagues in this issue of the MJA2 found even higher rates of distress and burnout: 39 of 88 respondents (44%) met the Physician Well‐Being Index criterion for distress (a short 7‐item measure); 55 (63%) had experienced burnout during the preceding 30 days. Those who reported distress were more likely to regret having chosen medicine as their career.2

  • The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW



I am supported by the Australian Research Council through the Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (project CE200100025).

Competing interests:

I have been an advisor to the World Health Organization, Safework NSW, the NSW Personal Injury Commission, and several private companies providing income protection and total permanent disability insurance.

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