April 22, 2024

Generational clash in hospital – “42 hours a week – you missed the job” – News


Many young doctors criticize the large workload. This leads to conflicts with the older generation.

Otmar Schopp is Professor of Abdominal and Thoracic Surgery at Hirslanden Hospital – a senior physician. The 61-year-old works 80 hours a week and is one of the first to arrive at the hospital at 6am. He criticizes the younger generation's demand for a 42-hour week. “This is definitely not enough for our profession,” he says in the newspaper “Rundschau”.

Schaub is convinced that an elite athlete who wants to go big also trains more than an amateur athlete. There are currently 50 hours per week for junior doctors. Schaub thinks that's not enough. He often has to send young doctors home, even though they want to work and perform more surgeries.

“Experience does not come with cycling.”

He receives support from an old college friend. Martin Meoli (68 years old) was surgical director of the Zurich Children's Hospital. He says patients deserve the best possible treatment. But for a surgeon to feel truly comfortable, he needs a lot of experience in the operating room: “That experience doesn't come from walking or riding a bike,” Meoli says.

But the younger generation sees it differently: Laura Biondi (26) started working as a surgical assistant at Torgau Hospital two months ago. Your generation wants and must combine family and work: “It is the reality of today's generation that we increasingly want to work part-time and that work-life balance is a problem. You have to find solutions, otherwise we will end up being left without young people.

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A third of students are considering changing their careers

Biondi is not alone in this assessment. According to one survey, a third of medical students are already thinking about changing their careers after their first practical experience. The reason: overtime, psychological pressure, rest times that are not adhered to, and a large number of administrative tasks.

The hospital's heavy workload became too much for her: two years ago, Rebecca Vermeer (32 years old) started her job as an assistant physician in canton Ticino. Her days were long and the responsibility was enormous: in extreme cases she was responsible for 12 seriously ill patients. She resigned after only five weeks. She was frightened by her boss's reaction at the time: “They said that if I fancied working 42 hours a week I would miss my job, I was in the wrong place.”


Rebecca Vermeer, 32, decided to leave her job as a physician assistant after five weeks.


according to NZZ scan Nearly 40% of junior doctors work more than 11 hours a day, one hour more than the legally required time. In the same survey, 80% said they made mistakes because they were tired or tired.

Senior surgeon Otmar Shub finally called it a day after a 14-hour day. He again had to convince his family that he would return home later. In return, he can bring good news to the family of the latest patient. His ninth operation that workday also went well.