Being a doctor is one of the most prestigious professions in Switzerland, but the reality looks very different: a third of medical students say they are ready to leave after their first internship in a hospital because of the long hours and heavy workload. He awaits them in the coming years.
This content was published on 05 December 2023 – at 13:30
According to a study conducted by the Swiss Medical Students Association, 34% of students want to change their careers after their final training period in a Swiss hospital. These courses usually take place in the sixth year of study and consist of a 6-12 month stay in hospital to assist junior doctors.
Marc Renaud de la Jara, a fourth-year student at the University of Lausanne and one of the study’s authors, says that when students face the reality of their profession, “they are not willing to make all these sacrifices.”
According to Swiss law, they should not work more than 50 hours a week, but in many cases they work an average of 56 hours a week, he told Swiss public broadcaster RTS.
“In the hospital, doctors spend little time with patients today. Most of it is devoted to administrative work,” he said.
The study indicates that the digitization of processes also poses major problems, because systems are not compatible between hospitals, which wastes a lot of time.
Many medical students want to work part-time upon graduation: 80% if possible. But that still represents about 42 hours a week.
He points out that “the situation is getting worse, and more and more treating doctors say that they are seeing medical errors, especially due to fatigue.”
The students soon realize that they will not be able to practice the medicine they want and that their sacrifices will not allow them to achieve their goals.
“They will be tired and exhausted, and in the end they will not be the good doctors they want to be for their patients,” says the study author.
According to JTI standards
Show more: SWI swissinfo.ch, certified by JTI
“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”