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Recognising sources of burnout in the medical profession
  1. Ana Manzar1,
  2. Kassem Kassem2
  1. 1 St George's Hospital Medical School, St George's University of London, London, UK
  2. 2 Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ana Manzar, St George's University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK; anamanzar97{at}

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We would like to thank Cheung1 for his insightful article on the issue of burnout within the medical profession. As fourth and final year medical students, we find ourselves anticipating life as a doctor in the forthcoming years, keenly taking on board any advice given by our seniors about the realities of working in healthcare. After reflecting on the points made by Cheung, we would like to provide a medical student’s insight into some of the reasons why burnout might be increasingly prevalent within the medical profession.

Through a growing exposure to the roles of a junior doctor on clinical placements and conversing with doctors in various roles, we often find that being a medical student, even in the final year, is often unakin to working as a doctor. This could be due to the abundance of responsibilities that are not made evident during our medical training. Medical school guides us through the concepts of key pathologies and core clinical skills that we must be able to apply as a doctor. However, we are not taught about the actual work that takes up majority of the time of a foundation doctor, such as meticulously managing the medical/surgical lists, completing discharge summaries and ‘To Take Out’ medications (TTOs). Rather, these are skills that we are somehow expected to ‘learn on the job’, due to the minimal attention given during medical …

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  • Contributors AM is responsible for researching articles and collecting opinions from peers and seniors whilst writing this letter to the editor. KK is responsible for reiterating and supporting the arguments made, consolidating and revising the paper for any errors or mistakes. Both authors have collated their opinions throughout their experiences on clinical placements to form a supporting argument with the author they are responding to and adding suggestions of improvements from their experiences and supporting articles which they have found by searching through the literature.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.