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New policy to support wellbeing of doctors in Europe published by CPME

Recommendations to enhance the wellbeing of doctors across Europe have been published as part of a new policy from the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME).

With the aim of improving patient care, professional excellence and overall job satisfaction, each of the recommendations is designed to support the holistic wellbeing of doctors at all stages of their careers.

The policy highlights the fact that the ‘demanding nature of [doctors‘] work, long working hours and high levels of stress can take a toll on their physical and mental health’.

‘These challenges are further compounded by workforce shortages and the pursuit of a work-life balance that accommodates family life,’ it adds.

As such, the policy document discusses regulatory measures, cultural shifts and personal resilience enhancement that the CPME deems necessary to support doctors’ wellbeing and positively influence patient safety and healthcare quality.

This includes focusing on adequate staffing and workload management, embracing a people-focused working culture, championing mentoring and peer support networks and supporting doctors as parents and carers.

The need to foster mental health, address burnout and reduce stigma is also highlighted.

A series of specific recommendations for healthcare institutions; the EU, national governments and administrations; and universities and organisations providing medical education and training are also outlined.

Dr Christiaan Keijzer, CPME president, said: ‘The wellbeing of doctors is not only a personal matter but also a critical factor that directly influences patient safety and healthcare quality. Our policy is a reflection of our commitment to creating an environment where doctors can thrive both personally and professionally.’

Dr Martin Balzan, CPME vice president, added: ‘European doctors call on the EU and Member States to ensure effective enforcement of EU directives like the Working Time Directive and Parental Leave Directive. We must ensure that all available tools are aligned to improving the wellbeing of doctors.

‘We urge healthcare institutions to implement benchmarks for minimum workforce capacities to ensure safe staffing levels, which is only possible with fair financial remuneration.

‘We also encourage a supportive organisational culture, emphasising autonomy, a peer support network, and a sense of dialogue, trust and belonging. A culture of wellbeing among young doctors can be promoted by highlighting role models who exemplify a healthy work-life balance.’