Barriers to the psychological well-being of Australian junior doctors: a qualitative analysis

BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 12;9(6):e027558. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027558.


Objective: To explore factors associated with the psychological well-being of junior doctors in Australia.

Design: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.

Setting: Three teaching hospitals in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Participants: Fifteen junior medical officers (postgraduate year 2 doctors) employed across three hospitals in Queensland participated in the study.

Main outcome measures: Fifteen de-identified interviews were analysed. Four key themes emerged-workplace issues impacting on health and well-being; experiences of bullying and harassment; strategies to improve health and well-being; and barriers to seeking healthcare.

Conclusion: Underlying system and cultural factors affect the health of junior doctors. Self-stigma particularly affects junior doctors and impacts on their healthcare seeking behaviours.

Keywords: medical education & training; mental health; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Literacy*
  • Hospitals, Teaching*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Stress / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Stress / psychology
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Workplace / psychology*
  • Young Adult