Table 4

Work group perspective

SubthemeDetailsIllustrative quote
Support at workOther junior doctors were viewed as the most important social relationships at work.‘You’re working with the same big bunch of people. So, you get to know quite a lot of people. It was a really good sized job actually for me, for making friends and creating like a social circle. I actually did quite enjoy it.’ (P13)
Loneliness at work, in particular a lack of contact with other junior doctors, affected their enjoyment at work.‘I think also it’s been quite a lonely job because you are by yourself a lot of the time. We don’t have F1’s. We don’t have registrars. I didn’t realise how much that can affect your job satisfaction… …because thinking back all the other jobs I’ve had have been in really big teams and perhaps even when we were busy and it was maybe a bit stressful you could moan about it to somebody else and the loneliness affects you I think…’ (P1)
Lack of support from seniors affected their enjoyment at work.“In neurosurgery the registrars weren’t very… they’re not a very supportive bunch. There’s someone suddenly blowing a pupil and you’re like, is this person dying? What am I going to do? They’d be like, ‘I’m busy, sort it’.” (P3)
Bullying from senior doctors was an issue for some.‘I was sitting flicking through a massive set of notes and then the consultant walks round the corner and goes; ‘What are you doing?’ and shouts at me in front of all the nurses, everyone on the ward. Then when you get a bit tearful tells you to grow up in front of everyone, very publically. Numerous occasions like that, particularly in surgical jobs. Just being made to feel that you’re never good enough and never getting any thanks for what you do. I don’t know for sure that that’s different in Australia, but from all the feedback I’ve got from everyone that’s in Australia and New Zealand working at the minute it appears to be quite a bit different.’ (P2)
Lack of support was not universal. Some of the F2s experienced good senior support at work.‘From a service provision point of view, I felt very well supported. I’ve always had seniors around to ask for help, even on my surgical jobs…’ (P13)
Many F2s had heard that there was good support from senior staff in Australia and New Zealand.‘From what I’ve heard it is very consultant heavy… I don’t think I’ll be left as alone as I am here. I think if I’m on call, there will always be a registrar around, and again there will be juniors below me.’ (P3)
Poor relationships with the nursing staff affected enjoyment at work in at least one case.‘The nursing staff wouldn’t listen to me. They would then go and get consultants and run everything I did past them. There are some strong characters in that department and it’s well known that that is the case. I just clashed with them and I find it quite condescending and made me feel like, that you weren’t a doctor, that you are more a medical student because everything you said had to be verified by a consultant.’ (P9)
Task interdependenceF2s did not worry that their leaving would impact on their colleagues, and felt that in some ways it may advantage F2s who chose to stay.‘If you look at people leaving as a whole it will make the jobs easier to get in some ways because they’ll have less competition. It’s different if you’re leaving a rota, if you’re already in a training position, but it shouldn’t affect my colleagues because I’ve no obligation to be there in that hospital.’ (P7)
They felt that their going away on a ‘gap year’ had a small effect when compared with the ‘underlying problem of not enough people’.‘I maybe haven’t thought about it but I’m contributing to that gap…whilst I very much am aware that I am trying to justify it’s okay for me to go away and I’m not going to screw everybody over…for next year, I think that the underlying problem is there just not enough people. I think people taking a break is… relatively negligible to the fact that there just aren’t enough bodies…’ (P6)
Use of locumsWorking with locums was generally viewed unfavourably.‘Sometimes you can get people that are completely new to the specialty and healthcare around the UK or even healthcare at all and that can be more challenging. They’re at my level and they’re filling up a gap in my rota slot at my level but at the same time I find them depending on me…which can be a bit difficult.’ (P16)
  • F2s, foundation year two doctors.