Letter: Doctors look abroad for a cure to their complaints

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The Independent Online
Sir: Warning: A medical career may damage your health

In Sweden potential medical students are warned that a medical career may damage their health. The high rate of divorce, alcoholism and suicide in medicine compared to other professions is well known. Your recent concerns on stressed young doctors leaving the NHS simply reflect that they are taking the necessary evasive action to safeguard their own health.

The 1990 new contract put general practitioners on a never- ending treadmill of long hours of work, frequent administration changes and financial uncertainty. No wonder retirements from general practice have never been higher, nor rates of sickness in colleges so frequent and so long-lasting. A female colleague, with whom I worked in an inner- city practice for a few years, blossomed when she changed careers - she is happy and contented as a lawyer. There are many others like her - how many lawyers do you know who have changed careers and enlisted in the medical profession?

Yours sincerely,

NIGEL MASTERS

General Practitioner

Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire

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