On the eve of our first Doctors Drum meeting of 2017, we wanted to poll readers to bring some of their views to the table. 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. We will be publishing their comments in full in the May edition along with a full report of March 23’s Doctors Drum meeting.

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


Yes 54%
Uncertain 26%
No 20%

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.

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 agreee 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?

Yes 65%
No 18%
Uncertain 17%

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

Very important 54%
Important 40%
Uncertain 2%
Unimportant 4%
Very unimportant 0%

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

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).

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


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


In your experience, do gender differences explain whether people feel either put at risk or rewarded by their work?

No 59%
Uncertain 27%
Yes 14%

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

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

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.

Have you heard of a smartphone ‘app’ that you think improves patient care in some way?

No 46%
Yes 43%
Uncertain 11%

ED. What proportion of doctors who actually use an app in patient care would be less, we guess. We hope to review some of them in future editions.

How you made contact

The vast majority of respondents to the epoll, in about equal proportions, used Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer as their browser, with just over half using Windows as their operating system and just over a quarter using their mobile device to respond. The average time taken to answer the questions was about five minutes.

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