Why Become A Doctor?

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Junior Doctors - The Golden Age?2016081620170405 (R4)

Since the inception of the NHS junior doctors have been on the front line, working long hours and often making decisions with far-reaching consequences for patients. Medical outcomes are now greatly improved, but, as the long running junior doctors dispute shows, morale has reached a historic low point.

In the first of a three part series, hospital consultant and broadcaster Dr Kevin Fong looks at how the role of junior doctors has changed over the past 50 years. We hear from older generations of doctors who talk fondly of past eras of greater autonomy and camaraderie. Were those times really better - or did the lack of accountability put patients' lives at risk?

We take a journey through advances in medical training and along the way look at the political and societal changes which have shaped our modern health service.

01Why Be A Doctor?20160816

Since the inception of the NHS Junior doctors have very much been on the front line, working long hours and often making decisions with far reaching consequences for patients. Medical outcomes are now greatly improved, and yet, as the long running junior doctors' dispute shows, morale has reached a historic low point.

In the first of a 3 part series Dr Kevin Fong looks at how the role of junior doctors has changed over the past 50 years. We hear from older generations of doctors who talk fondly of past eras of greater autonomy and camaraderie. Were those times really better - or did the lack of accountability put patients lives at risk?

We take a journey through advances in medical training and along the way look at the political and societal changes which have shaped our modern health service.

02Junior Doctors: All Work And No Play?2016082320170412 (R4)

In the second programme in the series hospital consultant Dr Kevin Fong looks in detail at the work and training of junior doctors today. The industrial dispute over contracts - which led to strike action - has now been going on for two years, We look at the workloads of junior doctors today, and examine the conflict between the amount of time available to spend on medicine versus that spent on administration, paperwork and form filling, the record keeping now required.

While there is no doubt medicine has advanced dramatically in recent years, the nature of the job for those delivering it has also changed, with a move to evidence based medicine and less reliance on passing down knowledge through the generations. For many in training this has led to a feeling of isolation, and a loss of support structures through separation from experienced colleagues.

Kevin Fong also asks what a greater focus on the wishes of patients means for the delivery of treatment. And doctors discuss the conflict between the need to see many patients in a short time period and yet provide them with full and rounded care.

02The Juniors' Contract20160823

In the second programme in the series we look in more detail at the work and training of junior doctors today. The industrial dispute over contracts - which led to strike action - has now been going on for two years, We look at the workloads of junior doctors today, and examine the conflict between the amount of time available to spend on medicine versus that spent on administration, paperwork and form filling, the record keeping now required.

While there is no doubt medicine has advanced dramatically in recent years , the nature of the job for those delivering it has also changed, with a move to evidence based medicine and less reliance on passing down knowledge through the generations. For many in training this has led to a feeling of isolation, and a loss of support structures through separation from experienced colleagues.

We also ask what greater focus on the wishes of patients means for the delivery of treatment, here looking at the conflicts between the need to see many patients in a short time period and yet provide them with full and rounded care.

03A Matter Of Life And Death20160830

In the third and final part of our series looking at the experience of being a junior doctor we look at the social and legal pressures on doctors. Complaints against the medical profession are now far more common than they used to be. In some cases doctors may face legal action, including manslaughter charges. Coupled with this, being a doctor is a high stress occupation and doctors are especially bad at dealing with their own health issues. Societal changes over recent decades have had an impact on the status of doctors. In the past patients didn't question the doctors' decisions, but now, with the increasing spread of medical knowledge and complexity of the way modern medicine is delivered, we have higher expectations.

For junior doctors in the profession now, just how do they cope with all these differing pressures and still give their best for patients? Consultant anaesthetist Dr Kevin Fong, a doctor for nearly 20 years, investigates.

03Junior Doctors: A Matter Of Life And Death20160830
03Junior Doctors: A Matter Of Life And Death2016083020170419 (R4)

In the third and final part of our series looking at the experience of being a junior doctor we look at the social and legal pressures on doctors. Complaints against the medical profession are now far more common than they used to be. In some cases doctors may face legal action, including manslaughter charges. Coupled with this, being a doctor is a high stress occupation and doctors are especially bad at dealing with their own health issues. Societal changes over recent decades have had an impact on the status of doctors. In the past patients didn't question their doctors' decisions, but now, with the increasing spread of medical knowledge and complexity of the way modern medicine is delivered, we can expect to be much more involved in decisions about our care.

For junior doctors in the profession now, just how do they cope with all these differing pressures and still give their best for patients? Consultant anaesthetist Dr Kevin Fong, a doctor for nearly 20 years, investigates.

03Junior Doctors: A Matter Of Life And Death20170419

Dr Kevin Fong explores how doctors cope when things go wrong.

In the third and final part of our series looking at the experience of being a junior doctor we look at the social and legal pressures on doctors. Complaints against the medical profession are now far more common than they used to be. In some cases doctors may face legal action, including manslaughter charges. Coupled with this, being a doctor is a high stress occupation and doctors are especially bad at dealing with their own health issues. Societal changes over recent decades have had an impact on the status of doctors. In the past patients didn't question their doctors' decisions, but now, with the increasing spread of medical knowledge and complexity of the way modern medicine is delivered, we can expect to be much more involved in decisions about our care.

For junior doctors in the profession now, just how do they cope with all these differing pressures and still give their best for patients? Consultant anaesthetist Dr Kevin Fong, a doctor for nearly 20 years, investigates.