An Imperative Need to Change Organ Donation and Transplant Curriculum Results of a Nationwide United Kingdom Junior Doctor Survey

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Awareness among the medical students and junior doctors about organ donation and transplantation (ODT) may play an important role in increasing organ donor pool. This study surveys the knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes of ODT among the U.K. junior doctors and attempts to identify their educational needs. To our knowledge, this is first such study in the United Kingdom.


A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among 1,696 junior doctors (809 foundation and 887 core trainees). A 36-point questionnaire explored the junior doctor’s knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward ODT.


There were 523 respondents (30.8%). Majority were foundation trainees (58.9%). Only 29.6% had previous exposure to transplantation, which reflected in their poor knowledge on the basics of ODT. Only 47.0% of the respondents were aware that consent from next of kin or family is sought for all deceased organ donation. Those registered as organ donor (69.8%) had better knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes in comparison to those not registered. Majority (84.1%) felt that they were inadequately exposed to ODT, and 96.8% stated that ODT should be part of undergraduate curriculum.


Junior doctors in the United Kingdom have limited knowledge about ODT. Although subjected to investigators bias, the results demonstrate that junior doctors’ perceptions and attitudes toward ODT were favorable. Majority felt that their ODT knowledge was inadequate and suggested the need for a change in undergraduate ODT curriculum. Increasing knowledge and awareness among junior doctors may help to improve the continuing organ shortage for transplantation.

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