Bogg, J., Bundred, P. and Gibbs, T., University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
This study aims to explore pre-registration house officer perception of work role, job requirements and mental health in order to identify potential areas for curriculum development. Design: Phase 1, one month prior to completion of pre-registration year (N=56). Questionnaires: diary of activities (ward rounds, on call, audit, administration, continuing medical education, etc.), occupational coping strategies, control orientation and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Phase 2, final two weeks, 20% (n=18) of participants randomly selected for semi-structured interview. It was found that the average working week was 56 hours, with 10% working in excess of this figure. Average weekly proportion of time spent on organised continuing medical education was 5%. Routine administrative tasks took up a considerable proportion of time and were perceived as lacking in training or educational elements. 52% (n=29), stated that they required more advice/training on the technical and management aspects of the job. Additional training was required on topics such as chest drains, delegation and time management. PRHOs felt that this should be given prior to commencement of the pre-registration year. In terms of mental health, 25% (n=14) were experiencing burnout. Control orientation was external, many individuals' perceived events as often occurring outside individual control. Findings have implications for the undergraduate curriculum, medical students must be adequately prepared for work role. That is clinically skilled and mentally prepared for the demands of a medical career.