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16.03.18

‘More work must be done’ as less than half of junior doctors entering specialist training

The number of junior doctors entering specialist training immediately after completing their foundation years is continuing to decline, according to new figures.

The UK Foundation Programme’s Career Destinations Report 2017 revealed that just 43% of F2 doctors who completed their training in August 2017 progressed to specialist training immediately, down from 50% the previous year – a massive drop since 2011, when the figure was 71%.

Dr. Jeeves Wijesuriya, BMA junior doctors committee chair, said that although these figures are striking, they are not surprising.

Referring to the findings of the BMA’s own report, ‘Trends in the Career Choices of Junior Doctors,’ he said that doctors often feel that they need to “step off the treadmill of training” after two years on the foundation programme, before making a major decision over their future career.

“Current data suggests that the majority of those who took time out in the past have returned to training.

“However, there is no guarantee that this will continue to happen, and so more work must be done to tackle the underlying reasons behind these breaks, which we know are due to the systemic pressures within the health service that put junior doctors at serious risk of burnout,” he warned.

Wijesuriya added: “It is positive to see the majority of junior doctors not in training still choosing to work as doctors in the NHS, but education providers must look closely at their programmes and ask why their structures are proving so undesirable.”

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