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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fay SmithORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2017, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Background Over the last decade, many changes have taken place in the UK, which have affected the training that doctors receive. Aim To assess doctors’ views on quality and adequacy of postgraduate training. Methods Questionnaires about training sent to UKtrained doctors who graduated between 1974 and 2012. Results 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. Conclusions 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith F, Goldacre MJ, Lambert TW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Postgraduate Medical Journal

Year: 2017

Volume: 93

Issue: 1105

Pages: 665-670

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 08/05/2017

Acceptance date: 06/04/2017

Date deposited: 28/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0032-5473

ISSN (electronic): 1469-0756

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2016-13456

PubMed id: 28483795


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