#imajuniordoctor: Junior doctors respond to the new junior doctor contract on social media

An online petition has already collected over 50,000 signatures calling for the BMA to support doctors taking strike action against the planned introduction of new junior doctor contracts. Doctors are concerned that a recent government decision to impose new junior doctor contracts will result in lower pay and increased hours. This has been met with huge criticism and backlash.

In a three day period last week, over 1600 doctors expressed an interest in applying for roles outside the UK. The General Medical Council said it would normally receive about 20 requests a day for certificates needed to work abroad. This sharp spike in the number of requests began a day after the government’s announcement. Social media has been the platform for much of the outpouring of views and perspectives.

A medical student wrote a letter to David Cameron expressing her concerns and placed it on Facebook to encourage others to do the same.

Another scathing letter sent to David Cameron by 26 year-old junior doctor Janis Burns has been viewed by over 80,000 people on Facebook.

On Twitter, #imajuniordoctor is attracting a lot of attention along with #juniorcontract.

Some of the more popular tweets focus on the significant pay cut likely to be felt and the lack of clarity on what salaries will be.

Many tweets draw attention to the number of years junior doctors have been studying and working:

The changes will have a detrimental impact on morale, says Janis Burns

Junior doctors will not sit back and allow the Government to simply push through these proposed changes unchallenged.

Using the hashtag #juniorcontract, the representatives of over 9,000 junior doctors in UK and Ireland posted their views made in a Joint Training Committee statement:

Much of the social media focus is the numbers of junior doctors considering leaving the UK to work abroad or leaving the profession altogether.



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Sarah M Foster is an intern at the BMJ.

Competing interests: None declared.