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Does specialty training prepare doctors for senior roles? a questionnaire study of new UK consultants
  1. Gill Morrow1,
  2. Bryan Burford1,
  3. Nancy Redfern2,
  4. Ruth Briel3,
  5. Jan Illing1
  1. 1Medical Education Research Group, Durham University, Durham, UK
  2. 2Department of Anaesthesia, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Kaizen Promotion Office, Lanchester Road Hospital, Durham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gill Morrow, Senior Research Associate, Medical Education Research Group, Durham University, Burdon House, Leazes Road, Durham DH1 1TA, UK; g.m.morrow{at}durham.ac.uk

Abstract

Aim To measure new consultants' perceptions of their preparedness for different clinical and non-clinical aspects of the role of consultant.

Design A cross-specialty questionnaire was developed and validated, containing items asking how well specialty training had prepared respondents for the role of consultant in a number of clinical and non-clinical areas. Responses were on a five-point Likert scale with a ‘Not relevant/no opinion’ box, and one free text section. Analysis was carried out on 10 scales derived from the questionnaire items through exploratory factor analysis.

Participants Consultants who had completed their specialty training in the north of England between 2004 and 2009 and had held a substantive consultant post in the region for <5 years were sent questionnaires in late 2009.

Results The effective response rate was 70.6% (211/299). Ten factors reflecting areas including clinical skills, communication skills, team and resource management were identified. Overall, higher scores were observed on factors relating to ‘providing care for individual patients’ rather than ‘having responsibility for the system of care’. The lowest scoring factors related to resource management and supervision, with mean scores falling below the scale midpoint. There were no significant differences between specialty groups, or on any demographic variables.

Conclusions A questionnaire to measure new consultants' perceptions of how well their specialty training had prepared them for practice was developed and validated. Findings were similar across specialties, suggesting that training programmes in all areas need to integrate higher-level management skills into their curricula, alongside the development of clinical expertise.

  • Medical education and training
  • specialty training
  • consultants
  • leadership and management
  • registrars
  • hospital
  • attending physicians

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Footnotes

  • Funding The work was carried out while GM, BB, JI and NR were employed by the Northern Deanery. GM, BB and JI were employed to carry out independent research on behalf of the Deanery and NR acted as adviser to this piece of research.

  • Competing interests This work was carried out while GM, BB and JI and NR were employed by the Northern Deanery. GM, BB and JI were funded to carry out independent research on behalf of the Deanery; NR acted as adviser to this piece of research; they declare no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. RB declares no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

  • Ethics approval This study received ethical approval from the NHS National Research Ethics Service (Sunderland Research Ethics Committee).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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