Majority of doctors believe that their stress and anxiety levels have increased since the pandemic

70 per cent of medical professionals surveyed feel that their stress and anxiety levels have increased since the beginning of the pandemic according to new research published by the UK’s leading medical defence organisation.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) surveyed 250 members and also found that:

  • 40 per cent reported often going to work when they don’t feel fit and healthy
  • 32 per cent believed that they were unable to do their job effectively
  • 55 per cent stated they felt anxious and/or stressed on a weekly basis
  • 43 per cent felt their workplace was ill prepared for a public health emergency
  • 32 per cent described relationships at work as strained

Of those surveyed, the MDU discovered that 89 per cent of respondents believe they are making a positive difference to the lives of their patients. Also, the MDU found members were most likely to raise concerns with their family members (80 per cent of all respondents), colleagues (68 per cent of all respondents) and/or their GP (39 per cent).

This comes as the MDU launches a new health and wellbeing e-learning course for foundation doctors which focuses on strategies for coping with adversity, the steps you can take to help yourself, and support a colleague who’s struggling.

Dr Oliver Lord, medico-legal adviser at the MDU commented:

"Most medical professionals are used to dealing with high pressure situations, stressful decisions and seriously ill patients, but the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level.

"Many clinicians will be dealing with increased workloads or might be working in an unfamiliar field of practice. Added to that are the increased pressures of seeing symptomatic or seriously ill patients and the thought of the personal risks to themselves and their families. 

"The MDU’s new health and wellbeing e-learning course aims to help you recognise the warning signs in yourself and others, as well as the steps you can take to seek support."

Find out more about the MDU’s health and wellbeing e-learning course

This page was correct at publication on 19/05/2020. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.