The UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009 were among the first to experience a fully implemented, new, UK training programme, called the Foundation Training Programme, for junior doctors. We report doctors’ views of the first Foundation year, based on comments made as part of a questionnaire survey covering career choices, plans, and experiences.
Postal and email based questionnaires about career intentions, destinations and views were sent in 2009 and 2010 to all UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009. This paper is a qualitative study of ‘free-text’ comments made by first-year doctors when invited to comment, if they wished, on any aspect of their work, education, training, and future.
The response rate to the surveys was 48% (6220/12952); and 1616 doctors volunteered comments. Of these, 61% wrote about their first year of training, 35% about the working conditions they had experienced, 33% about how well their medical school had prepared them for work, 29% about their future career, 25% about support from peers and colleagues, 22% about working in medicine, and 15% about lifestyle issues. When concerns were expressed, they were commonly about the balance between service provision, administrative work, and training and education, with the latter often suffering when it conflicted with the needs of medical service provision. They also wrote that the quality of a training post often depended on the commitment of an individual senior doctor. Service support from seniors was variable and some respondents complained of a lack of team work and team ethic. Excessive hours and the lack of time for reflection and career planning before choices about the future had to be made were also mentioned. Some doctors wrote that their views were not sought by their hospital and that NHS management structures did not lend themselves to efficiency. UK graduates from non-UK homes felt insecure about their future career prospects in the UK. There were positive comments about opportunities to train flexibly.
Although reported problems should be considered in the wider context, in which the majority held favourable overall views, many who commented had been disappointed by aspects of their first year of work. We hope that the concerns raised by our respondents will prompt trainers, locally, to determine, by interaction with junior staff, whether or not these are concerns in their own training programme.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12909-014-0270-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Medical careers; Junior doctors; Medical education; Foundation training
Electronic decision support is commonplace in medical practice. However, its adoption at the point-of-care is dependent on a range of organisational, patient and clinician-related factors. In particular, level of clinical experience is an important driver of electronic decision support uptake. Our objective was to examine the way in which Australian doctors at different stages of medical training use a web-based oncology system (http://www.eviq.org.au).
We used logfiles to examine the characteristics of eviQ registrants (2009–2012) and patterns of eviQ use in 2012, according to level of medical training. We also used a web-based survey to evaluate the way doctors at different levels of medical training use the online system and to elicit perceptions of the system’s utility in oncology care.
Our study cohort comprised 2,549 eviQ registrants who were hospital-based medical doctors across all levels of training. 65% of the cohort used eviQ in 2012, with 25% of interns/residents, 61% of advanced oncology trainees and 47% of speciality-qualified oncologists accessing eviQ in the last 3 months of 2012. The cohort accounted for 445,492 webhits in 2012. On average, advanced trainees used eviQ up to five-times more than other doctors (42.6 webhits/month compared to 22.8 for specialty-qualified doctors and 7.4 webhits/month for interns/residents). Of the 52 survey respondents, 89% accessed eviQ’s chemotherapy protocols on a daily or weekly basis in the month prior to the survey. 79% of respondents used eviQ at least weekly to initiate therapy and to support monitoring (29%), altering (35%) or ceasing therapy (19%). Consistent with the logfile analysis, advanced oncology trainees report more frequent eviQ use than doctors at other stages of medical training.
The majority of the Australian oncology workforce are registered on eviQ. The frequency of use directly mirrors the clinical role of doctors and attitudes about the utility of eviQ in decision-making. Evaluations of this kind generate important data for system developers and medical educators to drive improvements in electronic decision support to better meet the needs of clinicians. This end-user focus will optimise the uptake of systems which will translate into improvements in processes of care and patient outcomes.
Clinical decision support systems; Evidence-based practice; Medical education; Cancer chemotherapy protocols; Health personnel; ‘Medical staff; Hospital’
To assess the confidence, practices and perceived training needs in diabetes care of post-graduate trainee doctors in the UK.
An anonymised postal questionnaire using a validated 'Confidence Rating' (CR) scale was applied to aspects of diabetes care and administered to junior doctors from three UK hospitals. The frequency of aspects of day-to-day practice was assessed using a five-point scale with narrative description in combination with numeric values. Respondents had a choice of 'always' (100%), 'almost always' (80–99%), 'often' (50–79%), 'not very often' (20–49%) and 'rarely' (less than 20%). Yes/No questions were used to assess perception of further training requirements. Additional 'free-text' comments were also sought.
82 doctors completed the survey. The mean number of years since medical qualification was 3 years and 4 months, (range: 4 months to 14 years and 1 month). Only 11 of the respondents had undergone specific diabetes training since qualification.
4(5%) reported 'not confident' (CR1), 30 (37%) 'satisfactory but lacked confidence' (CR2), 25 (30%) felt 'confident in some cases' (CR3) and 23 (28%) doctors felt fully confident (CR4) in diagnosing diabetes. 12 (15%) doctors would always, 24 (29%) almost always, 20 (24%) often, 22 (27%) not very often and 4 (5%) rarely take the initiative to optimise gcaemic control. 5 (6%) reported training in diagnosis of diabetes was adequate while 59 (72%) would welcome more training. Reported confidence was better in managing diabetes emergencies, with 4 (5%) not confident in managing hypoglycaemia, 10 (12%) lacking confidence, 22 (27%) confident in some cases and 45 (55%) fully confident in almost all cases. Managing diabetic ketoacidosis, 5 (6%) doctors did not feel confident, 16 (20%) lacked confidence, 20 (24%) confident in some cases, and 40 (50%) felt fully confident in almost all cases.
There is a lack of confidence in managing aspects of diabetes care, including the management of diabetes emergencies, amongst postgraduate trainee doctors with a perceived need for more training. This may have considerable significance and further research is required to identify the causes of deficiencies identified in this study.
To determine the effect of training residents in interpersonal and communication skills on women’s satisfaction with doctor–woman relationship in labour and delivery rooms.
A stepped wedge cluster randomised trial.
4 tertiary care teaching maternity hospitals in Damascus, Syria.
2000 women who gave birth to a living baby in the four study hospitals and consented to participate in the intervention took part in the study. Women with difficult labour and high-risk pregnancies were excluded. All were interviewed at home after discharge.
A specially designed training package in communication skills was delivered to all resident doctors at the four hospitals.
Primary outcome measures
The main outcome measure was women’s satisfaction with interpersonal relationships in labour and delivery rooms measured via a series of questions on a Likert scale modified from the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale.
At the individual level, the mean for the average satisfaction score was 3.23 (SD 0.72) of a possible score of 5 in the control group and 3.42 (SD 0.73) in the intervention group. Using generalised linear mixed models, we were unable to detect a difference between the mean for the average satisfaction score of women in the intervention arm and that of women in the control arm; the 95% CI associated with the effect of the intervention ranged from –0.08 to 0.15.
Despite slight changes in the observed residents’ communication skills, the training package in communication skills does not seem to be associated with higher satisfaction scores of women. This raises the question of whether training individuals without further structural changes in the delivery of care and without further reinforcement of the training can have an impact on improving the quality of doctor–patient communication.
Trial Registration Number
Methods: A telephone questionnaire of specialist registrars (SpRs) (or equivalent, for example, staff grade) in six core specialties was performed in all the 11 acute hospitals in the Wessex region on the same evening. This group was selected to represent a sample of the most senior medical staff "on site" at each hospital.
Results: 56 of 64 (87.5%) SpRs participated. Nine of the 56 (16%) SpRs questioned had previously been involved in a major incident, and 18 (32%) had experienced some form of major incident training exercise. Subgroup analysis of the specialties showed that although there were no significant differences in numbers of training experiences between specialties, only one of nine (11%) orthopaedic SpRs had ever been involved in a training exercise. Twenty five of the 56 (45%) SpRs felt that they were confident of their role in the event of an incident.
Conclusion: Most middle grade staff in Wessex were not confident of their role in the event of a major incident. Most SpRs questioned had never attended a major incident training exercise.
To investigate factors which influenced UK-trained doctors to emigrate to New Zealand and factors which might encourage them to return.
Cross-sectional postal and Internet questionnaire survey.
Participants in New Zealand; investigators in UK.
UK-trained doctors from 10 graduation-year cohorts who were registered with the New Zealand Medical Council in 2009.
Main outcome measures
Reasons for emigration; job satisfaction; satisfaction with leisure time; intentions to stay in New Zealand; changes to the UK NHS which might increase the likelihood of return.
Of 38,821 UK-trained doctors in the cohorts, 535 (1.4%) were registered to practise in New Zealand. We traced 419, of whom 282 (67%) replied to our questionnaire. Only 30% had originally intended to emigrate permanently, but 89% now intended to stay. Sixty-nine percent had moved to take up a medical job. Seventy percent gave additional reasons for relocating to New Zealand including better lifestyle, to be with family, travel/working holiday, or disillusionment with the NHS. Respondents' mean job satisfaction score was 8.1 (95% CI 7.9–8.2) on a scale from 1 (lowest satisfaction) to 10 (highest), compared with 7.1 (7.1–7.2) for contemporaries in the UK NHS. Scored similarly, mean satisfaction with the time available for leisure was 7.8 (7.6–8.0) for the doctors in New Zealand, compared with 5.7 (5.6–5.7) for the NHS doctors. Although few respondents wanted to return to the UK, some stated that the likelihood of doctors' returning would be increased by changes to NHS working conditions and by administrative changes to ease the process.
Emigrant doctors in New Zealand had higher job satisfaction than their UK-based contemporaries, and few wanted to return. The predominant reason for staying in New Zealand was a preference for the lifestyle there.
Emergency departments continuously provide medical treatment on a walk-in basis. Several studies investigated the patient's perception of the doctor-patient relationship, but few have asked doctors about their views. Furthermore, the influence of the patient's ethnicity and gender on the doctor's perception remains largely unanswered.
Based on data collated in three gynaecology (GYN)/internal medicine (INT) emergency departments in Berlin, Germany, we evaluated the impact of the patient's gender and ethnicity on the doctors' satisfaction with the course of the treatment they provided. Information was gathered from 2.429 short questionnaires completed by doctors and the medical records of the corresponding patients.
The patient's ethnicity had a significant impact on the doctors' satisfaction with the doctor-patient relationship. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds ratio (OR) for physician satisfaction was significantly lower for patients of Turkish origin (OR = 2.6 INT and 5.5 GYN) than for those of German origin. The main reasons stated were problems with communication and a perceived lack of urgency for emergency treatment. The odds ratios for dissatisfaction due to a lack of language skills were 4.48 (INT) and 6.22 (GYN), and those due to perceived lack of urgency for emergency treatment were 0.75 (INT) and 0.63 (GYN). Sex differences caused minor variation.
The results show that good communication despite language barriers is crucial in providing medical care that is satisfactory to both patient and doctors, especially in emergency situations. Therefore the use of professional interpreters for improved communication and the training of medical staff for improved intercultural competence are essential for the provision of adequate health care in a multicultural setting.
Objectives: To describe doctors' emotional reactions to the recent
death of an “average” patient and to explore the effects of level
of training on doctors' reactions.
Design: Cross sectional study using quantitative and qualitative
Setting: Two academic teaching hospitals in the United States.
Participants: 188 doctors (attending physicians (equivalent to UK
consultants), residents (equivalent to UK senior house officers), and interns
(equivalent to UK junior house officers)) who cared for 68 patients who died
in the hospital.
Main outcome measures: Doctors' experiences in providing care, their
emotional reactions to the patient's death, and their use of coping and social
resources to manage their emotions.
Results: Most doctors (139/188, 74%) reported satisfying experiences
in caring for a dying patient. Doctors reported moderate levels of emotional
impact (mean 4.7 (SD 2.4) on a 0-10 scale) from the death. Women and those
doctors who had cared for the patient for a longer time experienced stronger
emotional reactions. Level of training was not related to emotional reactions,
but interns reported needing significantly more emotional support than
attending physicians. Although most junior doctors discussed the patient's
death with an attending physician, less than a quarter of interns and
residents found senior teaching staff (attending physicians) to be the most
helpful source of support.
Conclusions: Doctors who spend a longer time caring for their
patients get to know them better but this also makes them more vulnerable to
feelings of loss when these patients die. Medical teams may benefit from
debriefing within the department to give junior doctors an opportunity to
share emotional responses and reflect on the patient's death.
With the “ASIA-LINK” program, the European Community has supported the development and implementation of a curriculum of postgraduate psychosomatic training for medical doctors in China, Vietnam and Laos. Currently, these three countries are undergoing great social, economic and cultural changes. The associated psychosocial stress has led to increases in psychological and psychosomatic problems, as well as disorders for which no adequate medical or psychological care is available, even in cities. Health care in these three countries is characterized by the coexistence of Western medicine and traditional medicine. Psychological and psychosomatic disorders and problems are insufficiently recognized and treated, and there is a need for biopsychosocially orientated medical care. Little is known about the transferability of Western-oriented psychosomatic training programs in the Southeast Asian cultural context.
The curriculum was developed and implemented in three steps: 1) an experimental phase to build a future teacher group; 2) a joint training program for future teachers and German teachers; and 3) training by Asian trainers that was supervised by German teachers. The didactic elements included live patient interviews, lectures, communication skills training and Balint groups. The training was evaluated using questionnaires for the participants and interviews of the German teachers and the future teachers.
Regional training centers were formed in China (Shanghai), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hue) and Laos (Vientiane). A total of 200 physicians completed the training, and 30 physicians acquired the status of future teacher. The acceptance of the training was high, and feelings of competence increased during the courses. The interactive training methods were greatly appreciated, with the skills training and self-experience ranked as the most important topics. Adaptations to the cultural background of the participants were necessary for the topics of “breaking bad news,” the handling of negative emotions, discontinuities in participation, the hierarchical doctor-patient relationship, culture-specific syndromes and language barriers. In addition to practical skills for daily clinical practice, the participants wanted to learn more about didactic teaching methods. Half a year after the completion of the training program, the participants stated that the program had a great impact on their daily medical practice.
The training in psychosomatic medicine for postgraduate medical doctors resulted in a positive response and is an important step in addressing the barriers in providing psychosomatic primary care. The transferability of western concepts should be tested locally, and adaptations should be undertaken where necessary. The revised curriculum forms the basis of training in psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy for medical students and postgraduate doctors in China, Vietnam and Laos.
Psychosomatic medicine; Curriculum; Teaching of teachers; China; Vietnam; Laos
Ethics training has become a core component of medical student and resident education. Curricula have been developed without the benefit of data regarding the views of physicians-in-training on the need for ethics instruction that focuses on practical issues and professional development topics.
A written survey was sent to all medical students and PGY1-3 residents at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The survey consisted of eight demographic questions and 124 content questions in 10 domains. Responses to a set of 24 items related to ethically important dilemmas, which may occur in the training period and subsequent professional practice, are reported. Items were each rated on a 9-point scale addressing the level of educational attention needed compared to the amount currently provided.
Survey respondents included 200 medical students (65% response) and 136 residents (58% response). Trainees, regardless of level of training or clinical discipline, perceived a need for more academic attention directed at practical ethical and professional dilemmas present during training and the practice of medicine. Women expressed a desire for more education directed at both training-based and practice-based ethical dilemmas when compared to men. A simple progression of interest in ethics topics related to level of medical training was not found. Residents in diverse clinical specialties differed in, perceived ethics educational needs. Psychiatry residents reported a need for enhanced education directed toward training stage ethics problems.
This study documents the importance placed on ethics education directed at practical real-world dilemmas and ethically important professional developmental issues by physicians-in-training. Academic medicine may be better able to fulfill its responsibilities in teaching ethics and professionalism and in serving its trainees by paying greater attention to these topics in undergraduate and graduate medical curricula.
Objectives To report on the country of training and ethnicity of consultants in different specialties in the NHS, on trends in intake to UK medical schools by ethnicity, and on the specialty choices made by UK medical graduates in different ethnic groups.
Design Analysis of official databases of consultants and of students accepted to study medicine; survey data about career choices made by newly qualified doctors.
Setting and subjects England and Wales (consultants), United Kingdom (students and newly qualified doctors).
Results Of consultants appointed before 1992, 15% had trained abroad; of those appointed in 1992-2001, 24% had trained abroad. The percentage of consultants who had trained abroad and were non-white was significantly high, compared with their overall percentage among consultants, in geriatric medicine, genitourinary medicine, paediatrics, old age psychiatry, and learning disability. UK trained non-white doctors had specialty destinations similar to those of UK trained white doctors. The percentage of UK medical graduates who are non-white has increased substantially from about 2% in 1974 and will approach 30% by 2005. White men now comprise little more than a quarter of all UK medical students. White and non-white UK graduates make similar choices of specialty.
Conclusions Specialist medical practice in the NHS has been heavily dependent on doctors who have trained abroad, particularly in specialties where posts have been hard to fill. By contrast, UK trained doctors from ethnic minorities are not over-represented in the less popular specialties. Ethnic minorities are well represented in UK medical school intakes; and white men, but not white women, are now substantially under-represented.
Clinical and counseling psychology programs currently lack adequate evidence-based competency goals and training in suicide risk assessment. To begin to address this problem, this article proposes core competencies and an integrated training framework that can form the basis for training and research in this area. First, we evaluate the extent to which current training is effective in preparing trainees for suicide risk assessment. Within this discussion, sample and methodological issues are reviewed. Second, as an extension of these methodological training issues, we integrate empirically- and expert-derived suicide risk assessment competencies from several sources with the goal of streamlining core competencies for training purposes. Finally, a framework for suicide risk assessment training is outlined. The approach employs Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) methodology, an approach commonly utilized in medical competency training. The training modality also proposes the Suicide Competency Assessment Form (SCAF), a training tool evaluating self- and observer-ratings of trainee core competencies. The training framework and SCAF are ripe for empirical evaluation and potential training implementation.
suicide; risk assessment; competency; psychology training; OSCE
To investigate the geographical mobility of UK-trained doctors.
Cohort studies conducted by postal questionnaires.
A total 31,353 UK-trained doctors in 11 cohorts defined by year of qualification, from 1974 to 2008.
Main outcome measures
Location of family home prior to medical school, location of medical school, region of first training post, region of first career post. Analysis for the UK divided into 17 standard geographical regions.
The response rate was 81.2% (31,353/45,061; denominators, below, depended on how far the doctors’ careers had progressed). Of all respondents, 36% (11,381/31,353) attended a medical school in their home region and 48% (10,370/21,740) undertook specialty training in the same region as their medical school.
Of respondents who had reached the grade of consultant or principal in general practice in the UK, 34% (4169/12,119) settled in the same region as their home before entering medical school. Of those in the UK, 70% (7643/10,887) held their first career post in the same region as either their home before medical school, or their medical school or their location of training. For 18% (1938/10,887), all four locations – family home, medical school, place of training, place of first career post – were within the same region. A higher percentage of doctors from the more recent than from the older cohorts settled in the region of their family home.
Many doctors do not change geographical region in their successive career moves, and recent cohorts appear less inclined to do so.
The General Medical Council expects UK medical graduates to gain some statistical knowledge during their undergraduate education; but provides no specific guidance as to amount, content or teaching method. Published work on statistics teaching for medical undergraduates has been dominated by medical statisticians, with little input from the doctors who will actually be using this knowledge and these skills after graduation. Furthermore, doctor's statistical training needs may have changed due to advances in information technology and the increasing importance of evidence-based medicine. Thus there exists a need to investigate the views of practising medical doctors as to the statistical training required for undergraduate medical students, based on their own use of these skills in daily practice.
A questionnaire was designed to investigate doctors' views about undergraduate training in statistics and the need for these skills in daily practice, with a view to informing future teaching. The questionnaire was emailed to all clinicians with a link to the University of East Anglia Medical School. Open ended questions were included to elicit doctors' opinions about both their own undergraduate training in statistics and recommendations for the training of current medical students. Content analysis was performed by two of the authors to systematically categorise and describe all the responses provided by participants.
130 doctors responded, including both hospital consultants and general practitioners. The findings indicated that most had not recognised the value of their undergraduate teaching in statistics and probability at the time, but had subsequently found the skills relevant to their career. Suggestions for improving undergraduate teaching in these areas included referring to actual research and ensuring relevance to, and integration with, clinical practice.
Grounding the teaching of statistics in the context of real research studies and including examples of typical clinical work may better prepare medical students for their subsequent career.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: General practice in the UK is experiencing difficulty with medical staff recruitment and retention, with reduced numbers choosing careers in general practice or entering principalships, and increases in less-than-full-time working, career breaks, early retirement and locum employment. Information is scarce about the reasons for these changes and factors that could increase recruitment and retention. The UK Medical Careers Research Group (UKMCRG) regularly surveys cohorts of UK medical graduates to determine their career choices and progression. We also invite written comments from respondents about their careers and the factors that influence them. Most respondents report high levels of job satisfaction. A noteworthy minority, however, make critical comments about general practice. Although their views may not represent those of all general practitioners (GPs), they nonetheless indicate a range of concerns that deserve to be understood. This paper reports on respondents' comments about general practice. ANALYSIS OF DOCTORS' COMMENTS: Training Greater exposure to general practice at undergraduate level could help to promote general practice careers and better inform career decisions. Postgraduate general practice training in hospital-based posts was seen as poor quality, irrelevant and run as if it were of secondary importance to service commitments. In contrast, general practice-based postgraduate training was widely praised for good formal teaching that met educational needs. The quality of vocational training was dependent upon the skills and enthusiasm of individual trainers. Recruitment problems Perceived deterrents to choosing general practice were its portrayal, by some hospital-based teachers, as a second class career compared to hospital medicine, and a perception of low morale amongst current GPs. The choice of a career in general practice was commonly made for lifestyle reasons rather than professional aspirations. Some GPs had encountered difficulties in obtaining posts in general practice suited to their needs, while others perceived discrimination. Newly qualified GPs often sought work as non-principals because they felt too inexperienced for partnership or because their domestic situation prevented them from settling in a particular area. Changes to general practice The 1990 National Health Service (NHS) reforms were largely viewed unfavourably, partly because they had led to a substantial increase in GPs' workloads that was compounded by growing public expectations, and partly because the two-tier system of fund-holding was considered unfair. Fund-holding and, more recently, GP commissioning threatened the GP's role as patient advocate by shifting the responsibility for rationing of health care from government to GPs. Some concerns were also expressed about the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) and trusts (PCTs). Together, increased workload and the continual process of change had, for some, resulted in work-related stress, low morale, reduced job satisfaction and quality of life. These problems had been partially alleviated by the formation of GP co-operatives. Retention difficulties Loss of GPs' time from the NHS workforce occurs in four ways: reduced working hours, temporary career breaks, leaving the NHS to work elsewhere and early retirement. Child rearing and a desire to pursue interests outside medicine were cited as reasons for seeking shorter working hours or career breaks. A desire to reduce pressure of work was a common reason for seeking shorter working hours, taking career breaks, early retirement or leaving NHS general practice. Other reasons for leaving NHS general practice, temporarily or permanently, were difficulty in finding a GP post suited to individual needs and a desire to work abroad. CONCLUSIONS: A cultural change amongst medical educationalists is needed to promote general practice as a career choice that is equally attractive as hospital practice. The introduction of Pre-Registration House Officer (PRHO) placements in general practice and improved flexibility of GP vocational training schemes, together with plans to improve the quality of Senior House Officer (SHO) training in the future, are welcome developments and should address some of the concerns about poor quality GP training raised by our respondents. The reluctance of newly qualified GPs to enter principalships, and the increasing demand from experienced GPs for less-than-full-time work, indicates a need for a greater variety of contractual arrangements to reflect doctors' desires for more flexible patterns of working in general practice.
In the UK and many other countries, many specialties have had longstanding problems with recruitment and have increasingly relied on international medical graduates to fill junior and senior posts. We aimed to determine what specialties were the most popular and desirable among candidates for training posts, and whether this differed by country of undergraduate training.
We conducted a database analysis of applications to Modernising Medical Careers for all training posts in England in 2008. Total number of applications (as an index of popularity) and applications per vacancy (as an index of desirability) were analysed for ten different specialties. We tested whether mean consultant incomes correlated with specialty choice.
In, 2008, there were 80,949 applications for specialty training in England, of which 31,434 were UK graduates (39%). Among UK medical graduates, psychiatry was the sixth most popular specialty (999 applicants) out of 10 specialty groups, while it was fourth for international graduates (5,953 applicants). Among UK graduates, surgery (9.4 applicants per vacancy) and radiology (8.0) had the highest number of applicants per vacancy and paediatrics (1.2) and psychiatry (1.1) the lowest. Among international medical graduates, psychiatry had the fourth highest number of applicants per place (6.3). Specialty popularity for UK graduates was correlated with predicted income (p = 0.006).
Based on the number of applicants per place, there was some consistency in the most popular specialties for both UK and international medical graduates, but there were differences in the popularity of psychiatry. With anticipated decreases in the number of new international medical graduates training in the UK, university departments and professional associations may need to review strategies to attract more UK medical graduates into certain specialties, particularly psychiatry and paediatrics.
We surveyed the UK medical qualifiers of 1993. We asked closed questions about their careers; and invited them to give us comments, if they wished, about any aspect of their work. Our aim in this paper is to report on the topics that this senior cohort of UK-trained doctors who work in UK medicine raised with us.
3479 contactable UK-trained medical graduates of 1993.
Main outcome measures
Comments made by doctors about their work, and their views about medical careers and training in the UK.
Postal and email questionnaires.
Response rate was 72% (2507); 2252 were working in UK medicine, 816 (36%) of whom provided comments. Positive comments outweighed negative in the areas of their own job satisfaction and satisfaction with their training. However, 23% of doctors who commented expressed dissatisfaction with aspects of junior doctors’ training, the impact of working time regulations, and with the requirement for doctors to make earlier career decisions than in the past about their choice of specialty. Some doctors were concerned about government health service policy; others were dissatisfied with the availability of family-friendly/part-time work, and we are concerned about attitudes to gender and work-life balance.
Though satisfied with their own training and their current position, many senior doctors felt that changes to working hours and postgraduate training had reduced the level of experience gained by newer graduates. They were also concerned about government policy interventions.
physicians; career choice; medical staff; attitude of health personnel
The knowledge of medical ethics is essential for health care practitioners worldwide. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the knowledge of medical doctors in a tertiary care hospital in Nigeria in the area of medical ethics.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study involving 250 medical doctors of different levels was carried out. The questionnaire, apart from the bio-data, also sought information on undergraduate and postgraduate training in medical ethics, knowledge about the principles of biomedical ethics and the ethical dilemmas encountered in daily medical practice.
One hundred and ninety (190) respondents returned the filled questionnaire representing a response rate of 76%. One hundred and fifty-two respondents (80%) have had some sort of medical ethics education during their undergraduate level in the medical education. The median duration of formal training or exposure to medical ethics education was 3.00 hours (range: 0-15). One hundred and twenty-nine respondents have read at least once the code of medical ethics of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria while 127 (66.8%) have some general knowledge of the principles of biomedical ethics. The breakdown of the identified ethical dilemmas shows that discharge against medical advice was the most identified by the respondents (69.3%) followed by religious/cultural issues (56.6%) while confidentiality was recognized by 53.4%.
The knowledge of medical ethics by Nigerian medical doctors is grossly inadequate. There is an urgent need for enhancement of the teaching of the discipline at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Nigeria.
Biomedical ethics; developing countries; ethical dilemma; medical education; physicians
Objective To determine whether the ethnicity of UK trained doctors and medical students is related to their academic performance.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Online databases PubMed, Scopus, and ERIC; Google and Google Scholar; personal knowledge; backwards and forwards citations; specific searches of medical education journals and medical education conference abstracts.
Study selection The included quantitative reports measured the performance of medical students or UK trained doctors from different ethnic groups in undergraduate or postgraduate assessments. Exclusions were non-UK assessments, only non-UK trained candidates, only self reported assessment data, only dropouts or another non-academic variable, obvious sampling bias, or insufficient details of ethnicity or outcomes.
Results 23 reports comparing the academic performance of medical students and doctors from different ethnic groups were included. Meta-analyses of effects from 22 reports (n=23 742) indicated candidates of “non-white” ethnicity underperformed compared with white candidates (Cohen’s d=−0.42, 95% confidence interval −0.50 to −0.34; P<0.001). Effects in the same direction and of similar magnitude were found in meta-analyses of undergraduate assessments only, postgraduate assessments only, machine marked written assessments only, practical clinical assessments only, assessments with pass/fail outcomes only, assessments with continuous outcomes only, and in a meta-analysis of white v Asian candidates only. Heterogeneity was present in all meta-analyses.
Conclusion Ethnic differences in academic performance are widespread across different medical schools, different types of exam, and in undergraduates and postgraduates. They have persisted for many years and cannot be dismissed as atypical or local problems. We need to recognise this as an issue that probably affects all of UK medical and higher education. More detailed information to track the problem as well as further research into its causes is required. Such actions are necessary to ensure a fair and just method of training and of assessing current and future doctors.
To determine whether older age at graduation is associated with any difference in outcomes from the annual specialty training progression assessment.
An open cohort of 38 308 doctors who graduated from a UK medical school with annual assessments of progression in their specialty training programme with data centrally collected by the General Medical Council between 5 August 2009 to 31 July 2012.
Mature junior doctors (≥29 years at graduation) were more likely to have problems with progression on their annual review of competence progression record of in training assessment (ARCP/RITA) than their younger colleagues (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.49, p<0.001). This association was, if anything, even stronger (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.41 to 1.74, p<0.001) after adjustment for gender, ethnicity, type of University and specialty. The same was true when only looking at the most extreme ARCP outcome (4) which is being asked to leave their specialist programme (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.44, p<0.001).
Mature doctors are a growing part of the medical workforce and they are likely to broaden the spectrum of doctors by bring different life experience to the profession. These results suggest that they are more likely to have problems with progressing through their specialist training programme. More research is required to determine the reasons behind these associations and how mature doctors can be supported both in choosing the best training programme and in coping with the complex demands of higher training at a later stage in their lives.
MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING
Strict compliance with prescribed medication is the key to reducing relapses in schizophrenia. As villagers in China lack regular access to psychiatrists to supervise compliance, we propose to train village ‘doctors’ (i.e., villagers with basic medical training and currently operating in villages across China delivering basic clinical and preventive care) to manage rural patients with schizophrenia with respect to compliance and monitoring symptoms. We hypothesize that with the necessary training and proper oversight, village doctors can significantly improve drug compliance of villagers with schizophrenia.
We will conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial in 40 villages in Liuyang, Hunan Province, China, home to approximately 400 patients with schizophrenia. Half of the villages will be randomized into the treatment group (village doctor, or VD model) wherein village doctors who have received training in a schizophrenia case management protocol will manage case records, supervise drug taking, educate patients and families on schizophrenia and its treatment, and monitor patients for signs of relapse in order to arrange prompt referral. The other 20 villages will be assigned to the control group (case as usual, or CAU model) wherein patients will be visited by psychiatrists every two months and receive free antipsychotic medications under an on-going government program, Project 686. These control patients will receive no other management or follow up from health workers. A baseline survey will be conducted before the intervention to gather data on patient’s socio-economic status, drug compliance history, and clinical and health outcome measures. Data will be re-collected 6 and 12 months into the intervention. A difference-in-difference regression model will be used to detect the program effect on drug compliance and other outcome measures. A cost-effectiveness analysis will also be conducted to compare the value of the VD model to that of the CAU group.
Lack of specialists is a common problem in resource-scarce areas in China and other developing countries. The results of this experiment will provide high level evidence on the role of health workers with relatively limited medical training in managing severe psychiatric disease and other chronic conditions in developing countries.
Schizophrenia case management; Village doctor; Community health worker; Cluster randomized controlled trial; Project 686; Rural community health; Drug compliance; Mental health intervention
Medical science is perceived as a stressful educational career, and medical students experience monstrous stress during their undergraduate studies, internship, and residency training, which affects their cognitive function, practical life, and patient care. In the present study, an assessment of the prevalence of self-perceived stress among new medical graduates during their internship training has been performed, and correlations of self-perceived stress with sex, marital status, and clinical rotations have been evaluated.
Patients and methods
Interns of the King Khalid, King Abdulaziz, and King Fahd University hospitals in Saudi Arabia were invited to complete a stress inventory known as the Kessler 10, which is used for stress measurement. Apart from stress evaluation, the questionnaire collected personal data, such as age, sex, and marital status, in addition to information relevant to hospital training, assigned duties, and clinical training rotations.
Our results showed that nearly 73.0% of interns were under stressed conditions. Most of the interns were affected by a severe level of stress (34.9%), followed by mild (19.3%) and moderate (18.8%) levels of stress. The stress level was significantly higher (84.0%) among female interns in comparison with male interns (66.5%) (odds ratio =2.64; confidence interval =1.59–4.39; P<0.0002). There were statistically significant differences between the percentages of male and female interns (P≤0.047) at mild, moderate, and severe stress levels. Marital status had no role in causing stress. The highest stress level was reported by interns during the clinical rotations of medicine (78.8%), followed by surgery (74.7%), pediatrics (72.4%), obstetrics and gynecology (70.1%), and emergency (58.3%). The prevalence of stress among the interns and their corresponding clinical rotations in all three hospitals had significant linear correlations (r≥0.829, P≤0.041).
We found a significantly high level of stress among the medical interns. High stress may have negative effects on cognitive functioning, learning, and patient care. Hence, medical interns need support and subsequent interventions to cope with stress.
medical education; clinical rotation; medicine; surgery; pediatrics
International medical graduates (IMGs) are a remarkably successful professional group in the United Kingdom making up to 30% of the NHS work force. Their very success and media publicity about general practice and consultant shortages, has led to a large influx of inexperienced doctors seeking training opportunities in competitive specialties. In 2003 a record 15 549 doctors joined the medical register of which 9336 doctors were non-European Economic Area citizens. The number of candidates sitting PLAB part 1 and part 2 in 2003 rose by 267% and 283% respectively compared with 2001. Changes to Department of Health, Home Office, and deanery regulations with expansion of medical schools, implementation of European Working Time Directive, Modernising Medical Careers, and the future role of the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, will have an important impact on IMGs' training. Dissemination of realistic information about postgraduate training opportunities is important as the NHS for some time will continue to rely on IMGs.
Aims and method To develop a programme to help undergraduate medical students and postgraduate trainees to improve their skills in communicating with people with intellectual disabilities through teaching sessions that had input from simulated patients with intellectual disabilities. We conducted four sessions of training for 47 undergraduate 4th-year medical students. The training involved a multiprofessional taught session followed by a clinical scenario role-play with simulated patients who were people with intellectual disabilities. The training was assessed by completing the healthcare provider questionnaire before and after the training.
Results There were improvements in the students’ perceived skill, comfort and the type of clinical approach across all three scenarios.
Clinical implications By involving people with intellectual disabilities in training medical students there has been a significant improvement in students’ communication skills in areas of perceived skills, comfort and type of clinical approach which will raise the quality of care provided by them in the future.
The transition from medical student to junior doctor in postgraduate training is a critical stage in career progression. We report junior doctors' views about the extent to which their medical school prepared them for their work in clinical practice.
Postal questionnaires were used to survey the medical graduates of 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005, from all UK medical schools, one year after graduation, and graduates of 2000, 2002 and 2005 three years after graduation. Summary statistics, chi-squared tests, and binary logistic regression were used to analyse the results. The main outcome measure was the level of agreement that medical school had prepared the responder well for work.
Response rate was 63.7% (11610/18216) in year one and 60.2% (8427/13997) in year three. One year after graduation, 36.3% (95% CI: 34.6, 38.0) of 1999/2000 graduates, 50.3% (48.5, 52.2) of 2002 graduates, and 58.2% (56.5, 59.9) of 2005 graduates agreed their medical school had prepared them well. Conversely, in year three agreement fell from 48.9% (47.1, 50.7) to 38.0% (36.0, 40.0) to 28.0% (26.2, 29.7). Combining cohorts at year one, percentages who agreed that they had been well prepared ranged from 82% (95% CI: 79-87) at the medical school with the highest level of agreement to 30% (25-35) at the lowest. At year three the range was 70% to 27%. Ethnicity and sex were partial predictors of doctors' level of agreement; following adjustment for them, substantial differences between schools remained. In years one and three, 30% and 34% of doctors specified that feeling unprepared had been a serious or medium-sized problem for them (only 3% in each year regarded it as serious).
The vast knowledge base of clinical practice makes full preparation impossible. Our statement about feeling prepared is simple yet discriminating and identified some substantial differences between medical schools. Medical schools need feedback from graduates about elements of training that could be improved.