Nowadays, Doctors Stop Work As Soon As Their Shift is Over

Its not unknown  for doctors in EU countries to down their tools immediately when their shift-time is up, even if they were in the middle of performing a surgery! A 37 year-old English consultant related his experience here when the doctor assisting  him said he had to go as it was his ‘home time’…right in the middle of a laparotomy. Ostensibly, the main reason for this is the implementation of the European Working Time Regulations (EWTR) in August 2009, which resulted in a reduced working week of  48 hours. (btw, ‘conventional’ hospital doctors work at least 60 hours, including weekends).

Insufficient training posts and shorter training time..are today's doctors insufficiently trained?

Imagine the uproar if this were to occur in non-EU countries, where such a law would be considered primitive! I can imagine human rights activists decrying the ‘lack of professionalism among the materialistic-minded doctors’.

Doctors trained to be specialists in the  1990s will remember that their working hours were necessarily long because they were matched with training time – the more time you had, the more training you received. Nowadays, this is no longer valid and the path for training to be a consultant is now shortened considerably. The main reason given is that there was (and still is) a lack of training posts. Fair enough.

Sociologists have an alternative explanation for this type of behaviour – that the X and Y generations treasure their personal quality time more than just slogging away at work. They don’t live for work, they work to live“. Read more here.

Old-time surgeons will have difficulty understanding the work ethics of their junior counterparts unless they fully grasp the workings of the minds of the Y generationers. Already, there are fears that the new EU rules are going to produce a generation of European doctors who will be  “lazy, clock-watching junior surgeons”.

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2 responses

  1. Looking at most of the newly-graduated doctors, I tend to agree with you that their dedication and calling is noticeably absent.
    They are in for the money and plce too much priority on their own quality time!

  2. Well, the sooner the bosses (from the baby-boomers) realise the X and Y-ers work to live and not live to work, the better!

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