Skip to content
Login Register

Leading Professor says burnout is on rise

23 Jul 2018

A leading Professor will say that burnout is on the rise, with doctors at the beginning of their careers now asking for help.

A leading Professor will say that burnout is on the rise, with doctors at the beginning of their careers now asking for help.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Professor of Medicine and Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and founder non-executive director of the Natioanl Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) will say at Medicine24, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow flagship conference, that while doctors don’t like to say that they can’t cope, incidents of anxiety, depression and burnout are all on the rise.

Professor Dame Kumar will say

“Doctors are human. Today 60% of doctors seeking the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund’s support are under the age of 40. That is far younger than ever before in the charity’s 180 year long history. Younger doctors have not yet had the time to build up a financial safety net for when things go wrong and, like doctors at any age, can often be reticent to ask for help.

“Doctors should seek support and seek support sooner. Admitting you need help is NOT a ‘failure’. Levels of anxiety, fatigue, depression, burnout within the profession are high and yet 75% of doctors still feel that there is stigma within the profession for seeking help for mental health issues (RMBF Together for Doctors survey, 2017). Whether it is stress, work pressure, financial pressure or the loss of a loved one, there are a range of support organisations and initiatives in place that can offer help. Early assistance can often be the most effective.”

She also encouraged Doctors to support one another.

“There are improvements that we need to strive for within the NHS working environment, but there is also a lot of power in looking out for one another to help ease pressure and feel happier at work. Get to know your colleagues, keep an eye on them and ask how they are doing. Doctors don’t like to say that they cannot cope – and then suddenly ‘crash’. Encourage your colleagues to seek support when they need it, and trust that they would do the same for you. We are much more resilient when we are happier at work.”

Her lecture, Caring for the Profession at the flagship conference, Medicine24 will take place at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow on 13/14 September 2018.

Dr Jackie Taylor, President Elect of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow said:

“Medicine24 is an excellent opportunity for those working in increasingly stressful environments to reflect on practise and consider how we support each other. As Professor Kumar will highlight, burnout is an important issue which needs to be addressed, especially as it affects a growing number of our younger colleagues.

“Medicine24 covers a range of issues faced by the NHS today, and we hope it will provide those attending with state of the art education and plenty of time to reflect and network with others.”

This two day conference provides up to date information on the optimal management of acutely ill patients within the first 24 hours of admission. Now in its fourth year, Medicine24 2018 will cover the most common situations that present in busy receiving wards, and include updates in a range of medical specialties. The 2018 conference will also introduce a new ‘masterclass’ session. This series of workshops offer an interactive experience, learning directly from the experts.

For further information and a full programme, go to

Category: Workforce

Share this story:

Latest news and statements

Key priority areas

Workforce Recovery and Transformation
Health services in many parts of the world are over-stretched due to workforce shortages, rising demand for services and difficulties in retaining staff.
Read more
A healthy healthcare workforce is essential for patient care. When the workforce is exhausted, experiencing burnout, and struggling to balance their work and personal lives, it impacts on everyone.
Read more
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to standing up for equality, diversity and inclusion. We want our College to reflect the diversity in the NHS workforce and in the patients that we care for.
Read more
Climate Change and Sustainability
Climate change has caused great harm to our planet and warnings of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding will all place a significant burden on our health outcomes.
Read more
Health Inequalities
The health inequalities in our society have been both highlighted and exacerbated by the covid pandemic. There is a need to do things differently.
Read more
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of healthcare professionals, and the urgent need to learn whilemfocusing on delivering the best care for our patients has been an enormous challenge.
Read more



Key links

Contact us

Log in

Log in to access your Dashboard, book events, pay your subscriptions and access eLearning material.

Log in

Register an account

New users must register before logging in. You do not need to be a member of the College in order to register.



Having difficulty registering or logging in? Forgotten your username or password?

Get Help