GP trainees report high rates of satisfaction but concerns remain

GP trainees report the highest level of satisfaction with training among junior doctors, but one in seven trainees across all specialties feel they have to face problems beyond their competence, a GMC poll shows.

GMC poll: GP trainee satisfaction is high
GMC poll: GP trainee satisfaction is high

Results from the GMC's 2012 national training survey revealed that one in 20 trainees across the UK had concerns about their training.

The GMC said that the majority of those concerns related to training in acute specialties. This reflected the ‘pace and intensity of these services’, the GMC said.

Junior doctors in general practice were the happiest with their training - 5,592 trainees gave an average satisfaction rating of 88%.

Surgery trainees reported the lowest satisfaction rates in their training with 9,461 respondents reporting a satisfaction score of 76%.

Overall, the 51,000 trainees who responded to the survey reported higher levels of satisfaction than they had done in 2011 - 80% rated their training as excellent or good compared with 78% the previous year.

However, 33% said that they rarely or never had informal feedback from a senior clinician on how they were doing in their post.

A total of 15% said they felt forced to cope with clinical problems beyond their competence, and 35% of junior doctors described the induction to and the information they received about their roles, responsibilities and objectives as fair, poor or very poor.

BMA GP trainee subcommittee chairman Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said he was not surprised that GP trainee satisfaction was high.

He said: ‘The placements are geared towards maximising training opportunities and in a vast majority of the cases this works very well indeed.

‘The postgraduate deaneries deserve a lot of credit for this. At the same time it is very important to also look at the placements which are not able to match these standards.’

Dr Kasaraneni said the GMC survey had missed out some issues faced by junior doctors in GP training programmes. He pointed out that some training programmes request 'information from trainees which both COGPED and RCGP have said is not mandatory’.

Commenting on the findings GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘These findings tell us that while overall satisfaction with their training is increasing, [trainee] doctors have a number of concerns. The issues they raise must be urgently addressed.

‘We need to study the results in more detail but the early signs are that we are continuing to see pressure on doctors in key specialties, and this cannot be good for them or their patients.

‘We will do all we can to work closely with those at local level who have the responsibility for managing and delivering training for these doctors to address these issues.’

Dr Kasaraneni said the BMA would work with the GMC on future trainee surveys to include more GP-specific questions.

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