Who’s responsible for addressing burnout?

A call for senior doctors to come to the aid of their younger colleagues

Senior doctors should use their influence and experience to address the mounting problem of burnout in the profession, especially for the sake of their younger colleagues, say two leading medical academics.

Despite widespread acknowledgement of the “crisis”, they note that there has been no sustained approach from the government or the profession to achieve an effective national response.

It's now time for veteran doctors to lead the action, says Professor Michael Baigent, professor of psychiatry at Flinders University in Adelaide and a board member of beyondblue, and GP Dr Ruth Baigent.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, the authors suggest that older doctors may look back “on their pressurised junior years through rose-coloured glasses and see [burnout] as a right of passage”.

Three main domains quantify the concept: exhaustion, cynicism — including role negativity,