The Impact of the Corona Pandemic on Working Life of Young Family Physicians

german translation / full article

Bernadett Hilbert, Maike Krauthausen, Hanna Schrader, Anne Simmenroth

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2-virus doctors in post-graduate specialty training family medicine protective equipment workload

BackgroundIn December 2019 the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected for the first time in China and spread rapidly across the globe (coronavirus pandemic). Family physicians were forced to adapt quickly to constantly changing conditions. Little is known about the situation of German young family physicians and doctors in post-graduate specialty training when the pandemic hit the country.MethodsA anonymous online survey among the members of JADE (“Junge Allgemeinmedizin Deutschland”) contained 15 questions, some providing the option to answer freely. The survey evaluated workload, salary, availability of protective equipment and fears regarding an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Only descriptive data analyses were performed.Results414 of 1605 (26 %) members of JADE participated. 296 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Almost 80 % of the participants were female. While 72 % reported a reduction of the workload, 13 % noticed an increase. 22 % of employed family physicians and 10 % of doctors in vocational training had to reduce their weekly workload due to short-time work. While most family physicians in specialty training (81 %) and employed family physicians (93 %) did not report a change in salary, 89 % of practice owners reported financial losses. All participants reported a significant lack of protective equipment. About two thirds of the participants considered an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during work to be a probable risk. Half of the doctors in specialty training reported a worse learning situation. ConclusionsThis survey provided important insights into the work situation of young family physicians during the coronavirus pandemic. Future pandemics should not have an impact on the quality of specialty training. Politicians, medical associations and authorities should support practice owners and their employees financially and by providing sufficient protective equipment.Keywords SARS-CoV-2-virus; family medicine; workload; protective equipment; doctors in post-graduate specialty training

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