Doctors' views of their first year of medical work and postgraduate training in the UK: questionnaire surveys.
Goldacre MJ., Davidson JM., Lambert TW.
OBJECTIVE: The first year of postgraduate work for newly qualified doctors in the UK, the pre-registration year, is spent working intensively in training posts under supervision. Our aim was to report the views of pre-registration doctors on these posts. DESIGN: Questionnaire survey. SUBJECTS: All medical graduates of 1999 and a 25% sample of graduates of 2000 from all UK medical schools. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Doctors' views on the pre-registration house officer (PRHO) year, recorded as ratings in answers to questions and statements about the year. RESULTS: In reply to the question 'How much have you enjoyed the PRHO year overall?', rated on a scale from 0-10 (0 = no enjoyment; 10 = enjoyed it greatly), 44% of respondents (1341/3068) gave scores of 8-10; in all, 83.2% of respondents gave scores in the upper half of the scale (> or =6). However, there were criticisms of specific aspects of working conditions. Only a third agreed that their training during the year had been of a high standard. Posts in medicine were rated more highly than those in surgery for quality of training. Differences in views held by women and men junior doctors were few. However, where differences existed, women were slightly more positive about their work than men. CONCLUSION: Most graduates enjoyed the pre-registration year but there is still considerable scope for improvement in working conditions and training. Men and women gave similar responses, which suggests that later divergence in their career pathways is not attributable to different views formed about work in their pre-registration year.