Doctors' views about their work, education and training three years after graduation in the UK: questionnaire survey.
Lambert T., Smith F., Goldacre MJ.
OBJECTIVES: Doctors who graduated in the UK after 2005 have followed a restructured postgraduate training programme (Modernising Medical Careers) and have experienced the introduction of the European Working Time Regulation and e-portfolios. In this paper, we report the views of doctors who graduated in 2008 three years after graduation and compare these views with those expressed in year 1. DESIGN: Questionnaires about career intentions, destinations and views sent in 2011 to all medical graduates of 2008. PARTICIPANTS: 3228 UK medical graduates. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Comments on work, education and training. RESULTS: Response was 49% (3228/6538); 885 doctors wrote comments. Of these, 21.8% were unhappy with the standard of their training; 8.4% were positive. Doctors made positive comments about levels of supervision, support, morale and job satisfaction. Many doctors commented on poor arrangements for rotas, cover and leave, which had an adverse effect on work-life balance, relationships, morale and health. Some doctors felt pressured into choosing their future specialty too early, with inadequate career advice. Themes raised in year 3 that were seldom raised in year 1 included arrangements for flexible working and maternity leave, obtaining posts in desired locations and having to pay for courses, exams and conferences. CONCLUSIONS: Many doctors felt training was available, but that European Working Time Regulation, rotas and cover arrangements made it difficult to attend. Three years after graduation, doctors raised similar concerns to those they had raised two years earlier, but the pressures of career decision making, family life and job seeking were new issues.