Statement from RCSEd President on Concerning Early Retirement Figures

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25 Jun 2021

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh notes today’s figures showing the number of doctor’s retiring early has trebled since 2008 with alarm but not surprise. College President, Professor Michael Griffin, said:

“We have been deeply concerned with the number of doctors surrendering their medical license due to stress, burnout, bullying and poor workplace culture for some time. The pressures and emotional trauma of the pandemic have only accelerated this trend.

“The average age of retiring early has now dropped below 60, and indeed 7% of doctors surrender their medical licence within three years of qualifying. This also increases the pressure on those clinicians who remain, especially with the Covid backlog to deal with.

“It is absolutely vital that the government takes measures to adequately protect the wellbeing of the whole NHS workforce –whether clinical or administration. Measures introduced during the pandemic such as ‘wobble rooms’, on demand counselling and adequate provision of hot food and drinks must be maintained and expanded. Recruitment must be stepped up to replace those who are leaving and ease the burden on those who remain. An adequate pay rise, to reflect the commitment and professionalism of our staff and recognise they are highly trained professionals must also be introduced urgently.

“This is just one more piece of evidence that shows we must care for those who care for us.”


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

  • RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505 and is based in Edinburgh and Birmingham. 
  • It is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world with a global membership of more than 30,000, including 15,000 members in the UK. 
  • The College also has a significant worldwide presence with members in over 100 countries. 
  • The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. 
  • The College has seven faculties: The Faculty of Dental Surgery, The Faculty of Surgical Trainers, The Faculty of Dental Trainers, The Faculty of Perioperative Care, The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care, The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare and the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine.
  • It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. 
  • Find RCSEd at, on Twitter, on Facebook, and Instagram

Issued by tigerbond on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. For further information, please contact or 07730415019  

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