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OBJECTIVE:To report the career choices and career destinations in 1995 of doctors who qualified in the United Kingdom in 1988. DESIGN:Postal questionnaire. SETTING:United Kingdom. SUBJECTS:All doctors who qualified in the United Kingdom in 1988. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Current employment. RESULTS:Of the 3724 doctors who were sent questionnaires, eight had died and three declined to participate. Of the remaining 3713 doctors, 2885 (77.7%) replied. 16.9% (608/3593; 95% confidence interval 16.1% to 17.8%) of all 1988 qualifiers from medical schools in Great Britain were not working in the NHS in Great Britain in 1995 compared with 17.0% (624/3674; 16.1% to 17.9%) of the 1983 cohort in 1990. The proportion of doctors working in general practice was lower than in previous cohorts. The percentage of women in general practice (44.3% (528/1192)) substantially exceeded that of men (33.1% (443/1340)). 53% (276/522) of the women in general practice and 20% (98/490) of the women in hospital specialties worked part time. CONCLUSIONS:Concerns about recruitment difficulties in general practice are justified. Women are now entering general practice in greater numbers than men. There is no evidence of a greater exodus from the NHS from the 1988 qualifiers than from earlier cohorts.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ (Clinical research ed.)

Publication Date





1429 - 1431


UK Medical Careers Research Group, Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, UK.


Humans, Data Collection, Cohort Studies, Career Choice, Family Practice, Career Mobility, Medical Staff, Hospital, Physicians, Employment, State Medicine, Professional Practice, Female, Male, United Kingdom, Workforce