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Self-reported preparedness for clinical work has increased among recent cohorts of UK-trained first-year doctors
  1. Shelly Lachish,
  2. Michael J Goldacre,
  3. Trevor Lambert
  1. UK Medical Careers Research Group, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Shelly Lachish, Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Old Road, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK; shelly.lachish{at}


Introduction UK medical schools have made considerable efforts to ensure that graduates are well prepared for their first year of clinical work. We report the views of two recent cohorts of UK-trained doctors 1 year after graduation about whether their medical school prepared them well, and compare responses with earlier cohorts.

Methods We surveyed doctors who qualified in 2011 and 2012 from all UK medical schools. We obtained their responses to the statement ‘My experience at medical school prepared me well for the jobs I have undertaken so far’ on a 5-point scale from ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Strongly Disagree’. Responses were compared with those of the UK graduates of 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2009, surveyed in the same way 1 year after graduation.

Results The percentage of doctors who either ‘Agreed’ or ‘Strongly Agreed’ that they were well prepared doubled from 35% in 1999 to 70% in 2012, while the percentage who ‘Strongly Agreed’ with the statement increased fourfold. Perceptions of being well prepared have increased in graduates from almost every medical school. Variation between medical schools in self-reported preparedness of their graduates has decreased in recent cohorts. However, some large differences between medical schools remain. Significant differences in perceived preparedness remain between white and non-white doctors, but have diminished between men and women.

Conclusions Our work contributes to growing evidence suggesting that changes to medical education in the UK are producing doctors who feel well prepared for the challenges of being a doctor, though further improvements could be made.

  • preparedness
  • UK-trained medical graduates
  • junior doctors
  • curricular reform
  • medical school

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