GMC launches major survey for doctors in training

The General Medical Council (GMC) is launching the world’s largest postgraduate medical education survey to gauge the quality of medical education and training in the UK.

The national training survey (NTS), which gets underway on Tuesday 24 March, involves more than 50,000 doctors and provides important information about how well the system is working. It is open to all doctors in foundation and specialty training programmes, including GP training.

And following concerns raised in the 2014 NTS over the issue of bullying (8% of doctors said they had experienced bullying and just under 14% reported witnessing bullying), this year’s survey will specifically address  the environment in which doctors are trained; how fairly doctors feel they are being treated, and if their posts help build confidence.

“‘We need to listen to what doctors in training tell us about their experience”, said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC. “This is an important test of how well the system is working and it is incumbent on everyone involved to act on the results.

“Past results suggest that most doctors feel they receive a high standard of education but everyone accepts that improvements can be made.

“We know too that the external environment is extremely challenging with massive service pressures throughout the NHS in the UK – this year in particular we want to establish in which areas doctors in training are receiving most support for their learning and in which they are not.

The information provided by doctors in the NTS is anonymous and the findings will be published in June 2015 then reviewed by deaneries, local education and training boards, NHS trusts and GP surgeries.

Mr Dickson continued: “The important point is that doctors who complete the survey know that their views do matter and that the GMC, deans and hospitals and surgeries will act in response to the issues they raise. The survey has become increasingly influential with both those involved in education and in the wider health system taking notice of what doctors in training are telling us.”

The NTS is set to run until 6 May 2015.


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