Adequacy of postgraduate medical training: views of different generations of UK-trained doctors

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Over the last decade, many changes have taken place in the UK, which have affected the training that doctors receive.


To assess doctors’ views on quality and adequacy of postgraduate training.


Questionnaires about training sent to UK-trained doctors who graduated between 1974 and 2012.


Among trainees towards the end of their first year of medical work and training, 36% agreed that in their first year “Training was of a high standard”; 21% disagreed; 43% neither agreed nor disagreed. Only 16% agreed “I had to perform clinical tasks for which I felt inadequately trained”.


Among doctors 12 years into their careers, 83% agreed “My training has been long enough, and good enough, to enable me to practise adequately when I first become/became a consultant or GP”.


Among senior hospital doctors aged in their 50s or 60s, 21% agreed that “These days, the training of specialist doctors in the NHS is sufficient to enable them to practise adequately when they first become consultants”; 38% disagreed, and the rest neither agreed nor disagreed. Of senior GPs, 41% agreed “These days, the training of GP trainees in the NHS is sufficient to enable them to practise adequately when they first become GPs”; 28% disagreed.


Views on early career training were mixed, but few felt exposed to clinical situations beyond their ability. Most newly appointed consultants and GPs felt adequately trained for practice, though many senior doctors were unsure that this was the case.

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