By Michael Evans.
Image credit: @vermicious_knid.
A survey conducted by a group of Hunan university students has given a sobering look at the attitudes of China’s doctors.
The study, conducted by 5 third-year students at Hunan Normal University, surveyed 363 doctors at 19 hospitals. Of those, 61 percent reported that they were unhappy with their profession. Middle-aged clinicians had the lowest levels of mental well-being, according to the survey, while women doctors were generally less satisfied than men.
Being a doctor in China is an increasingly dangerous job, and 92 percent of doctors surveyed described their work as involving “great risk.” Earlier this spring, a series of patient attacks on hospital workers killed one doctor and left five others injured.
In 2006, the last year for which detailed records on patient-doctor violence was reported publicly […] the Chinese Ministry of Health stated that 5,519 medical personnel had been “injured” in disputes — a substantial increase over previous years.
The China Daily cited an “official source” who said that in 2010, 17,000 violent incidents took place, affecting roughly 70 percent of all public hospitals in China.
Such attacks have often met with public indifference, and at times even approval, as doctors are increasingly seen as corrupt and indifferent, taking bribes and prescribing unnecessary procedures to supplement meagre incomes.
A report last August by the Beijing-based Health Times painted an even bleaker picture of the attitudes of China’s health professionals. 96 percent of doctors surveyed told the newspaper they were unsatisfied with their jobs, while 70 percent said they would not allow their children to enter the medical profession.
Over 50 percent said they would change jobs if given the chance.