The study, published in BMC Medical Education, found that medical graduates in 2005 were more likely to say medical schools had prepared them for work than in previous years.
The report by researchers at the University of Oxford suggests that medical school training has improved substantially over time.
‘Views of junior doctors about whether their medical school prepared them well for work: questionnaire surveys’ showed that one year after graduation, 58.2% of 2005 graduates agreed their medical school has prepared them well.
This compares to 50.3% of 2002 graduates and 36.3% of 1999/2000 graduates.
The researchers also showed that three years after graduation doctors were less likely to agree that their medical school has prepared them well than after one year.
It showed at year one, 42.7% of respondents agreed that their medical school had prepared them well for the jobs they had undertaken so far. But at year three, only 33.8% agreed.
The report concluded: ‘In training students for the first stage of a medical career, medical schools need to strike a balance between preparing students for their postgraduate job and for their later years in clinical practice.
‘It is important to understand more about whether the lack of preparedness is related to the medical school or to the quality of supervision received within the NHS.’