Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Should specialist medical training be more flexible?

Date:
July 6, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Specialist medical training programs should retain some flexibility to help trainee doctors make the right career choices, according to a study.

Specialist medical training programmes should retain some flexibility to help trainee doctors make the right career choices, according to a study published online in the British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


Some UK medical graduates choose a specialty as soon as they qualify and others after a few years of postgraduate work. But changes to postgraduate medical training mean that junior doctors will generally have to make choices sooner than in the past.

This concern was first highlighted by the Tooke report in 2008, which suggested that medical education and Modernising Medical Careers policy in the UK encourages foundation trainees to make career choices when many are not ready to make such commitments.

Researchers at the University of Oxford, set out to compare doctors' early career choices with their eventual career destinations.

Using questionnaire data from five cohorts of doctors from UK medical schools, who graduated between 1974 and 1996, they compared the extent to which choices of specialties at one, three, and five years after graduation corresponded to career destinations 10 years after graduation.

They found that, 10 years after graduating, almost half of doctors were working in a specialty different from the one chosen in their first year after graduation and about a quarter were working in a specialty different from their year three choice.

This trend stayed reasonably constant across graduation cohorts despite the changes in training programmes over time.

Differences between specialties were considerable -- for example, 90% of practising surgeons but only 50% of general practitioners had chosen their specialty in year one.

The research shows that many doctors who want to be general practitioners from the outset achieve their ambition, but also that many doctors who initially aspire to other careers eventually work in general practice, explain the authors. It also suggests that eventual success in surgery is only likely if surgery was always the intended specialty, but also that many with that early aspiration do not achieve it.

Some respondents commented about an increasing lack of flexibility, as they saw it, in applying for specialty training, while some expressed concerns about having only one lifetime opportunity to succeed in getting on to a training programme for their chosen specialty.

The authors conclude that a two point entry to specialty training programmes would alleviate this problem by allowing those who have made early, definite choices to progress quickly into their chosen specialty, while recognising the need for flexibility for those who choose later.

In an accompanying editorial, Jeremy Brown, a senior lecturer at Edge Hill University in Lancashire acknowledges that the career advice service provided by medical schools and deaneries has improved greatly, but warns that "specialty programmes need to identify ways of supporting those trainees who need time and experience in the postgraduate setting to make a firm commitment that will match their eventual career destination."

He concludes: "These findings may strengthen the argument that the existing two year foundation programme followed by two or three years of core specialist training may provide the necessary flexibility to match and underpin the natural variation in career aspirations for many postgraduate doctors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should specialist medical training be more flexible?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706204711.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, July 6). Should specialist medical training be more flexible?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706204711.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should specialist medical training be more flexible?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706204711.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins