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Factors that influence psychiatric trainees’ choice of higher training specialty: mixed-methods study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain McKinnonORCiD, Dr Adrian Lloyd



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


Aims and Method Factors influencing trainees’ decisions about choosing and remaining in higher training sub-specialties have not been widely researched. We administered telephone questionnaires to higher specialist trainees in the North-East of England to ascertain what influences these decisions. Thematic analysis was employed to develop overall constructs Results Twenty-seven trainees were interviewed resulting in six overall constructs. These were: supervisory experiences; perceived work-life balance; career prospects; training and working environments; interest in, and previous experience within, the chosen sub-specialty. Most trainees interviewed felt they had made the right specialty choice. Clinical Implications This study demonstrates the particular importance of exposure to speciality and perceptions of the supervisory experience in determining trainees’ choices of, and decisions to remain in, a particular psychiatric speciality. Factors highlighted in this study must inform training, recruitment and workforce planning in order to bolster the recruitment and retention of trainees into higher specialty training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wolstenholme N, McKinnon I, Lloyd AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BJ Psych Bulletin

Year: 2022

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 18/01/2022

Acceptance date: 26/11/2021

Date deposited: 26/11/2021

ISSN (print): 2056-4694

ISSN (electronic): 2056-4708

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1192/bjb.2021.128


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