'The system is failing our future doctors': Medical student tells of the mental health crisis doctors face

Mental health is becoming a crisis among doctors and medical staff as a quarter have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, new findings reveal.

The British Medical Association (BMA) surveyed more than 4,000 medics and found two in five are facing psychological and emotional problems, including stress, depression, anxiety and emotional distress.

Ella Burchill, who is a third year medical student working in London, said her mental health has suffered due to her occupation and workload.

She said: "There has been times where I feel there is no way out and to quit would be the best option."

Ms Burchill said she was "fortunate and lucky to receive" support which enabled her to continue with her medical degree but added others aren't so lucky and the system needs to change.

"There are many at risk and danger of being burnt out or being seriously unwell.

"The system is failing our future doctors and this needs to stop."

She added: "It's okay not to be okay, and if we don't have well doctors we are not going to have well patients."


Of doctors and medical staff were at high or very high risk of burnout.

2 in 5

Medics are facing psychological and emotional problems, according to the BMA.

Ms Burchill said: "Our duty to our patients is to treat them with professionalism, with respect and with dignity but we are not currently doing that to our own doctors or to our own student doctors and that's where the problem lies."

The President of the BMA, Professor Dinesh Bhugra, told ITV News that doctors often continue to go to work even when they are suffering because they are committed to their job.

Professor Bhugra said: "In spite of the fact that people feel that they are burning out and under pressure, they continue to go to work because they are committed professionals who want to do the best they can and the frustration in which that they can't deliver the high quality, then gets them down."

The Department of Health and Social Care have said they are committed to a long term plan for the NHS which will lay out actions "to overhaul the mental health and wellbeing support on offer for all NHS staff".

The Department of Health and Social Care have said they will announce a People Plan to support NHS staff. Credit: ITV News