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‘Startling’ wellbeing responses in EM doctors survey

By David Lynch - 15th Apr 2021

Doctor wheeling patient

Career progression concerns and poor wellbeing were among the issues raised by emergency medicine NCHDs in a recent survey. The Irish Emergency Medicine Trainees Association (IEMTA) conducted the survey in November 2020, with results recently published in its newsletter.

Dr Orla Kelly, IEMTA President and Specialist Registrar in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital Waterford, told the Medical Independent that “wellness is an area for improvement that has been highlighted” in the findings. She said the responses of 36 per cent of trainees in core specialist training in emergency medicine (CSTEM), 44 per cent of non-scheme emergency medicine doctors, and 48 per cent of trainees in advanced specialist training in emergency medicine (ASTEM) were “indicative of poor wellbeing and risk of depression”.

These were “startling statistics”, according to Dr Kelly, but she added that emergency medicine and the IEMTA were “committed to addressing” the situation.

Dr Kelly noted the survey showed that non-scheme doctors had expressed concern regarding their career progression, with 75 per cent citing this issue as a factor when deciding whether or not to stay in Ireland.

“It is well known that this is an issue for all specialties, but the proportion of non-scheme doctors in emergency medicine is higher than in other specialties because of the need to staff so many departments,” she said.

A positive message from the survey was 80 per cent of CSTEM and ASTEM trainees would recommend the training programmes to colleagues. High numbers also intended to continue to higher training to become consultants in emergency medicine in Ireland. See news feature, p4-5.

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