Stress, burnout, and parenting: A qualitative study of general practice registrars

Publication Name

Australian Journal of Primary Health


Background: Early career medical professionals experience stress and burnout at higher levels than the wider community. Burnout can arise with competing demands of life and career, which is evident in early career development, where family planning can coincide with specialty training. General practice may be seen as a family friendly career option; however, few studies examine the experience of general practice trainees with stress and burnout and the impact that parenting has on their experience. This study aims to explore the experience of stress and burnout in general practice registrars and the exacerbating and protective factors, with a focus on the experiences of two groups of registrars, those that have children, and those that do not. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with 14 participants, who were interviewed with questions exploring experiences of stress and burnout. Participants were grouped into those with children and those without children. The transcripts were thematically analysed. Results: Themes were identified as those that contributed to stress and burnout (such as time, financial concerns and isolation) and those factors that reduced stress and burnout (such as support from others and being respected and valued within the workplace). Parenting was identified as both a factor that could contribute to and reduce stress and burnout. Conclusions: Stress and burnout are important foci for future research and policy to ensure the sustainability of general practice. System based and individual focused policies, including individualising training to support parenting, are required to ensure that registrars are supported through their training years and beyond.

Open Access Status

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