On the eve of our first Doctors Drum meeting of 2017, we received 135 responses from GPs and Specialists within the three-day window. Thanks to those who took part. Many of them made comments and gave some great insight into what life is like in modern day medicine.

Do you believe the political persuasion of the Health Minister has more influence than his/her personal abilities?

ED. It appears most doctors believe politics will be put ahead of personal ability in addressing health issues. Given that hospital funding is the big ticket item for states, Roger Cook may have some decisions ahead of him around rationing of services (see next response) that most doctors will be sceptical of.

  • Yes 54%
  • No 20%
  • Uncertain 26%

How much do you identify with this statement: “One of the biggest problems facing the Health Minister is that growing health demands will outstrip supply.”

  • I agree strongly 46%
  • I agree 39%
  • No opinion either way 6%
  • I disagree 7%
  • I disagree strongly 2%

Are doctors prone to burnout, more so than many other professions?

ED. What is it about doctoring that fosters burnout these days? Or is it the type of doctor?

  • Yes 65%
  • No 18%
  • Uncertain 17%

How important is the doctor’s work-life balance in determining how much they can serve the community?

ED. The vast majority of responses seem to say, anyone who devotes 100% of their efforts to work cannot serve the community well.

  • Very important 54%
  • Important 40%
  • Uncertain 2%
  • Unimportant 4%

Should medical education rely less on hospital training?

  • No 54%
  • Yes 33%
  • Uncertain 13%

Are new doctors adequately trained to tackle today’s problems in the community?

ED. It would be interesting to see community views on this! But choice of careers for doctors is one area the community should not have a say, according to most of our respondent doctors (see next question).

  • No 55%
  • Uncertain 27%
  • Yes 17%

Should the community have more say in what areas junior doctors focus their career?

  • No 64%
  • Yes 22%
  • Uncertain 14%

Is the profession attracting people, more than it should, who are less resilient under pressure?

  • No 36%
  • No 34%
  • Uncertain 30%

In general terms, what place should medical research take in health funding?

ED. Most respondents gave medical research 3rd or 2nd place for funding allocation, and we cannot give the Specialist-GP split on responses, which would interest us all, sorry.

  • Third 39%
  • Second 25%
  • Uncertain 14%
  • Less than third 9%
  • No priority 8%
  • First 7%