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BMA cohort doctor study


The ninth and penultimate BMA Cohort Doctor report provides information on the work and experiences of cohort doctors who, eight years post-graduation, are mostly progressing through specialty training or are working as qualified GPs. This report also provides insights into career choice and working environments in terms of workplace morale, work related stress and work-life balance.

Key findings

Here are some of the key findings of the ninth edition of the cohort study:

  • There has been an increase in part-time working in the past year. Although this increase is apparent for both male and female cohort doctors, part-time working continues to be more common for female cohort doctors. Cohort doctors who work in general practice were most likely to indicate they are currently, or want to work part-time in the future.
  • Three-quarters of cohort doctors said they regularly work additional, often unpaid hours, to deliver the quality of care that patients deserve.
  • Alarmingly, more than one-half of cohort doctors who worked on a rota said that they regularly had staff shortages as a result of rota gaps. 
  • The biggest cause of work-related stress identified by cohort doctors were work-life balance responsibilities, a shortage of doctors and high levels of paperwork.
  • Eight years post-graduation three-quarters of cohort doctors are happy with their choice of specialty. This was most likely to be the case for cohort doctors who were undertaking research or academic medicine.
  • Cohort doctors training or working in emergency medicine, higher surgical training and obstetrics and gynaecology reported having the worst work-life balance.
  • Those cohort doctors who aspire to work in, and who are working in, general practice are more likely to be female. Cohort doctors are most likely to now work as a partner GP; however, this is much more likely to be the case for male than female cohort doctors.
  • In contrast to the previous annual cohort survey where cohort doctors who were working as a GP principal were much more likely to indicate they had a poor work-life balance, the results of this survey suggest that cohort doctors who work as a salaried GP were more likely to report a poor or very poor work-life balance.

Download the full report


Previous reports

All the previous cohort study reports are available in the BMA Library archive.

View a list of previous reports