Foundation doctors' views on whether their medical school prepared them well for work: UK graduates of 2008 and 2009.
Goldacre MJ., Lambert TW., Svirko E.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The transition from medical student to junior doctor is a critical stage in career progression. We report junior doctors' views 1 year after graduation on whether their medical school prepared them well for clinical work. STUDY DESIGN: Questionnaire surveys of the medical graduates of 2008 and 2009, from all UK medical schools, 1 year after graduation. Responses were compared with those of UK medical graduates of 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005. The main outcome measure was the doctors' level of agreement that medical school had prepared them well for work. RESULTS: 53% of 2008 graduates and 49% of 2009 graduates agreed that their medical school had prepared them well. The percentage who felt unprepared has fallen from 31% of the 1999-2005 graduates, combined, to 19% of the 2008 and 2009 graduates (the remainder gave neutral responses). Combining 2008 and 2009 graduates' responses, percentages who agreed that they had been well prepared ranged from 83% (95% CI 78 to 89) at the medical school with the highest level of agreement to 27% (95% CI 20 to 34) at the lowest. 25% of doctors specified that feeling unprepared had been a serious or medium-sized problem for them (only 2.7% regarded it as serious). CONCLUSIONS: Medical schools need feedback from their graduates about elements of medical school training that could improve preparedness for medical work. It also seems likely that there are some reasonably straightforward lessons that medical schools could learn from each other.