Nearly a third of psychiatrists feel emotionally drained, considering quitting: Survey
Nearly 30 percent of psychiatrists feel emotionally drained and an equally large number is thinking about quitting, according to a survey among over 800 Dutch and Flemish psychiatrists by interest group De Jonge Psychiater. "That is worrying," Joeri Tijdink of De Jonge Psychiater said to NOS.
A main complaint among respondents was that they are dissatisfied with their position within the mental healthcare system. Around 40 percent said that the system has become so large that personal care is becoming increasingly impossible. Psychiatrists would also like a more leading role in caring for their patients. "The psychiatrist has been marginalized in mental healthcare institutions in recent years, Tijdink said. "We are increasingly pushed back and only called in when there are already problems or when things become very complex."
Almost all psychiatrists also raised concerns about long waiting lists and high administrative burdens. "On the one hand you see very passionate people who really want to be there for their patients. But on the other hand they also find that they do not have autonomy and are thwarted by bureaucracy. That is a very complicated stalemate," Tijdink said to the broadcaster.
De Jonge Psychiater believes that structural changes are needed for this profession. "I think that we can do a lot more by organizing ourselves and looking at how we can ensure that patient care is better," Tijdink said.
The Dutch association for psychiatry NVvP recognizes the picture painted by this survey. "Of course I also see the things that are mentioned," chairman Elnathan Prinsen said to NOS. "You sometimes get stuck between the things you think are good for patient care and the things the organization expects from you."
According to Prinsen, one of the problems is that psychiatrists are expensive and scarce, so organizations try to use them as little as possible. "Then you divide it so that the people who are the most scarce have to do the least." And that is a negative spiral, Prinsen said. "Psychiatrists get the feeling that they cannot practice their profession to the fullest extent. And that is why they are leaving the mental healthcare institution, making them even scarcer."