Ferdinando Petrazzuoli, Oleg Kravtchenko and Miriam Dolan were the leaders of an EURIPA workshop which was part of the English Sessions of the 17e Congrès de la Médecine Générale (CMGF) France 2024. Paris, France 21-23/March/2024. The title of the workshop was: “huge workload, premature burnout and shortage of primary care healthcare professionals''.


The Conference took place in the splendid conference rooms of Palais des Congrès and more than 60 participants attended the workshop.

The so-called “Silver Tsunami”, referring to the unprecedented increase in the number of older patients often affected by multimorbidity, is a serious health and socioeconomic concern for modern societies. This exacerbates an already existing high workload, which is resulting in the premature burnout of healthcare professionals. Combined with the current shortage of healthcare professionals, especially in rural areas in European primary care, constitutes the creation of a perfect storm. Addressing the complexity of this issue requires a comprehensive approach. The health and well-being of both the rural primary care workforce and the communities they serve are intrinsically intertwined. Enhancing working conditions is a priority: long hours, heavy workloads, bureaucratic demands, and burnout can decrease the appeal of rural primary care negatively affecting recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in rural areas.

There were three lectures to this workshop followed by an interactive part in 4 small groups. 

The first lecture, Huge workload and premature burnout in Primary care was by Ferdinando Petrazzuoli EURIPA President elect. In this presentation the worrisome situation in European Primary Care was described in its complexity.

The second lecture, Burn-out, its consequences, treatment and prevention was by Oleg Kravtchenko, EURIPA President. In this presentation special tools to address and overcome the burnout were described.

The third lecture, Preventing burn-out and looking at the future- a personal journey was by Miriam Dolan EURIPA Executive Board. In this presentation Team Work and Teaching were suggested as possible tools for re-evaluating our profession and to avoid burnout.

In the interactive part 5 smaller break-out groups consisting of around 10-15 participants discussed the question “What prevents you from being the doctor you want to be?” and explored experiences and strategies to address the issues of huge workload, premature burnout and shortage of primary care healthcare professionals. In the plenary the main findings of the groups were presented. Important issues and themes emerged:


  1. moral quilt- ‘just keep going’; 
  2. feelings of being inadequate; 
  3. tasks and definition of health (WHO)- is it too broad therefore HCPs are tasked with something immense; 
  4. Undifferentiated presentations in GP- it can be nothing or anything but requires attention;

Themes and solutions:

  1. Some activities/tasks can and should be done by non-medical members of the team; 
  2. don’t strive for perfection; 
  3. working in a group practice can help divide the workload and offers support; 
  4. working as a single handed doctor can also have a lot of positives; 
  5. more control and knowing the patients, continuity of care; 
  6. importance of networking in- and outside the practice -strength in numbers to highlight the issues, support, sharing of good practice examples; 
  7. embrace diversity within the practice team; 
  8. clarity about role and responsibilities; 
  9. collaboration with other practices in networks; 
  10. culture shift of doctors (away from ‘vocation’, see it as a job, emphasis on a good work/life balance) and the public (health literacy and taking responsibility for own health); 
  11. having a portfolio as a doctor; 
  12. support services for doctors who feel overwhelmed, are in distress; be aware of (early) symptoms and signs of possible burnout in self and colleagues; 
  13. in wider domain and among politician: more value attached to what GPs do; 
  14. be involved in education prevents burn-out, secures the future of the profession



Published on 4 April 2024.