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Demographics, distribution and experiences of UK clinical academic trainees using GMC NTS Survey data
  1. Hannah Beckwith1,2,
  2. Valmir Selimi3,
  3. Asya Mussad3,
  4. Matt Graham-Brown4,5,
  5. Andy Knapton3,
  6. Bill Irish6,
  7. Sue Carr3,5
  1. 1Institute of Clinical Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Renal Medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3General Medical Council, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  5. 5Department of Renal Medicine, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK
  6. 6Health Education England, East of England, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sue Carr, Department of Renal Medicine, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK; sue.carr1{at}


Involvement in research plays an integral role in the delivery of high-quality patient care, benefitting doctors, patients and employers. It is important that access to clinical academic training opportunities are inclusive and equitable. To better understand the academic trainee population, distribution of academic posts and their reported experience of clinical training, we analysed 53 477 anonymous responses from General Medical Council databases and the 2019 National Training Survey. Academic trainees are more likely to be men, and the gender divide begins prior to graduation. There are very low numbers of international medical graduates and less than full-time academic trainees. A small number of UK universities produce a greater prevalence of doctors successfully appointed to academic posts; subsequent academic training also clusters around these institutions. At more senior levels, academic trainees are significantly more likely to be of white ethnicity, although among UK graduates, no ethnicity differences were seen. Foundation academic trainees report a poorer experience of some aspects of their clinical training placements, with high workloads reported by all academic trainees. Our work highlights important disparities in the demographics of the UK clinical academic trainee population and raises concerns that certain groups of doctors face barriers accessing and progressing in UK academic training pathways.

  • medical education and training

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  • HB and VS contributed equally.

  • Contributors HB, VS, AM, MG-B, BI, SC: Draft manuscript, data interpretation and draft finalisation. AK: Draft manuscript, data analysis, data interpretation and draft finalisation.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SC is the Deputy Medical Director of the GMC. AK and SC are GMC employees. VS and AM are UK National Medical Director Clinical Fellows who are working at the GMC. BI is an employee within Health Education England. HB and MG-B have been integrated academic trainees.

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