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Evaluating the recruitment process into UK anaesthesia core training: a national data linkage study of doctors’ performance at selection and subsequent postgraduate training

Abstract

Purpose of the study To explore which factors increase the likelihood of being deemed appointable to core anaesthesia training in the UK and whether those factors subsequently predict performance in postgraduate training.

Study design Observational study linking UK medical specialty recruitment data with postgraduate educational performance, as measured by Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) outcomes. Data were available for 2782 trainee doctors recruited to anaesthesia core training from 2012 to 2016 with at least one subsequent ARCP outcome.

Results Both higher interview and shortlisting scores were independent and statistically significant (p≤0.001) predictors of more satisfactory ARCP outcomes, even after controlling for the influence of postgraduate exam failure. It was noted that a number of background variables (eg, age at application) were independently associated with the odds of being deemed appointable at recruitment. Of these, increasing age and experience were also negative predictors of subsequent ARCP rating. These influences became statistically non-significant once ARCP outcomes associated with exam failure were excluded.

Conclusions The predictors of ‘appointability’ largely also predict subsequent performance in postgraduate training, as indicated by ARCP ratings. This provides evidence for the validity of the selection process. Our results also suggest that greater weight could be applied to shortlisting scores within the overall process of ranking applicants for posts.

  • anaesthetics
  • medical education & training
  • education & training (see medical education & training)
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