Thousands of doctors are planning to leave the NHS in the coming year, exhausted by the coronavirus pandemic.
A survey by the British Medical Association found that half of doctors plan to work fewer hours, one in four were more likely to take a career break and 21% were considering leaving the NHS for a different career.
The tracker survey was responded to by 2,099 people.
Many blamed their workload, including an inability to take breaks, and almost 40% said they did not have anywhere at work where they could relax safely with colleagues.
An acute speciality doctor who outlined their workload told the BMA: “My own mental and physical health will have to become a priority at some point.”
The doctor, who was not identified by the BMA, said: “A ‘break’ on shift means I try to grab 10 minutes in my office to down a cup of tea and catch up on some of the hundreds of emails I need to read before inevitably being called back out.
“My usual finish time on these shifts is around two hours after I’m rostered to leave. I spend my rest days catching up on the rest of the emails I don’t have time to deal with at work. It’s exhausting.
“I’ve started exploring career opportunities outside of the NHS. I don’t know yet if I’ll leave clinical medicine, but I’m seriously considering it. If the right opportunity presents itself I’ll go for it.
“It’s a tough thing to consider, I love the NHS but I know I can’t keep this pace up indefinitely.”