On March 15th 2014 Domus Medica in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a forum of Slovenian Junior Doctors and Junior Doctors from other European countries was held. The meeting was organized in cooperation between the Commission for Junior Doctors of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia and EJD - European Junior Doctors. The main goal was active participation of Junior Doctors to raise awareness about working conditions for junior doctors in Slovenia and across Europe, with emphasis on unemployment and emigration. The meeting gathered around 70 junior doctors, of which 16 were from all across the Europe, namely representatives from Spain, Turkey, Croatia, Kosovo, Germany, Norway, Italy, Lithuania, Malta and France.
In the workshop we discussed current issues of European Junior Doctors: the employability and brain drain, mobility as opposed to migration, and we highlighted the particularities of post-graduate education in Slovenia and the challenges of post-graduate education in Europe. The topics raised many questions, mostly among Slovenian junior doctors and the discussion was at times heated.
In the last year, EJD has organized several workshops to get closer to Junior Doctors in their respective countries and deal with current issues. The workshop in Ljubljana was in the line of this meetings in the last years and was by far the most numerically attended. Asked for impressions on the workshops EJD President Carsten Mohrhardt stated the following:
What do you think about the EJD workshops in general?
“Keeping Junior Doctors all over in Europe informed on the ongoing topics is one of the main interest of EJD. Forum´s and workshops held by EJD and their national member are on tool to pursue this goal.”
What are your impressions of the workshop in Ljubljana?
“Really good ones indeed. Within the participants we had a lot of interested young colleagues that want to be informed and updated about the opportunity the Europe has for them. But not only to leave their country – even better – to fight for changes in the Slovenian health care system, which I consider the most important.«
What is your impression of the Junior Doctors situation in Slovenia?
“Things definitely have to improve. Due to budget cuts the situation is not well and the future of health care workforce is in risk. There must be changes soon. Especially the pressure on Junior Doctors to work for free in clinics to get some training has to be rejected!”
What is your prediction and what are your hopes for Junior Doctors in Europe?
“Here comes the MLK “I have a dream…” – but I think we have to go step by step. With the Qualifications Directive first steps for more mobility were done. I think we must follow this way and increase the mobility of physicians – especially in training – to profit from the chances Europe has. Also training itself must be improved on several ways and levels. But most important the work-life-balance must further improve, especially regarding the percentage of women among medical students.”