Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Are you asking yourself “Should I quit General Practice?” Let’s show you 3 reasons to quit General Practice and discuss burnout in general practice too. Finally, are GPs burning out? Should I quit GP?
1. I Never Finish on Time
As a relatively young GP, I find it difficult to accept that never finishing on time is just a thing in general practice. In some ways, it’s expected that GPs will overrun as we continue to absorb, absorb and absorb.
But when you work in a hospital, especially when you are a trainee, people are generally pretty strict about making sure the hours add up and are equal to the hours you are contractually obliged to work.
So what is the issue here? Let me list a few things that come to mind
You have 15 Home Visits Everyday
No Blocked slots for supervising students or trainees
Constantly Overbooked with Extras
No Designated Admin Time
Constantly covering for someone’s sickness without a locum to help out
First job after qualifying and this just must be how it is
Finally, you have voiced concerns and no one is listening
If some of these apply to you, and I’m actually dreading comments below saying that all of them apply to you, is it worth reducing your sessions in that practice and doing some locums in other practices to see if they have the same issues?
And who knows, maybe those other practices wouldn’t mind a switched on salaried GP like you?
Quick note here about not finishing on time. The BMA specifies that a session lasts 4 hours and 10 minutes. That should cover your clinic and associated admin. But if you are regularly well over that, well then something definitely isn’t right here.
2. I Haven't Had a Payrise in Years
I’m going to use a term here that might upset you and please don’t click away if I do, but here it goes anyway. Inflation. Things get more expensive over time and if your pay is not increasing, you are effectively getting a pay cut.
So if you are a Salaried GP and you have the BMA contract - and if you don’t maybe that’s also a good reason to quit - then you will probably have something saying: “Your salary will be subject to annual increments each year and in accordance with the Governments decision on the pay of general Practitioners following recommendations of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body”.
Which means you should get a pay rise every year. The problem here is if you don’t ask for it, it’s possible that your practice simply won’t give it to you.
And what can make matters worse, is that I know Salaried GPs that have asked for it, but the practice had told them that they had to hire an extra HCA so they just don’t have the money for it, so maybe next year I suppose, unless there are other expenses of course, you know how it is.
3. I Hate Everyone
Someone once told me that the definition of burnout is when your patients start becoming your enemies.
On a side note, someone once told me that we should actually stop using the word burnout and use the term moral injury instead.
But basically, if every time you look at your list in the morning and you instantly feel like throwing your computer across the room… maybe it is time for a change.
And if your organisation is not willing to protect you as an employee from burning out, maybe it’s time you protect yourself.
https://www.practitionerhealth.nhs.uk/ - Get Help with Burnout here.