Health Professions

Covid disruption hits training for eight in ten doctors, GMC surveys shows

By - Integrated Care Journal
Covid disruption hits training for eight in ten doctors, GMC surveys shows

More than 80 per cent of doctors in training have said they suffered from disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which reduced their access to the learning they need to progress their careers, according to a General Medical Council (GMC) survey published on the 22 October.

The GMC runs its national training survey annually. This year the survey was shorter than normal due to the pandemic. However, it was still completed by more than 38,000 doctors in training and senior doctors who act as trainers.

The survey revealed that, despite the sudden and significant pressures caused by Covid-19, most training doctors reported their workplaces to be supportive, stating that they felt valued in their roles, and were working in a culture where teamwork was encouraged.

The GMC has reaffirmed its commitment to working with training providers to ensure the impacts of disruption are minimised and that training is protected while the pandemic continues.

The questions in this year’s survey related to the impact of the pandemic asked whether Covid-19 had affected doctors in training's ability to gain the experience they need to progress through the curriculum.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, stated: "The disruption the pandemic has had on doctors in training and trainers cannot be underestimated. Our survey shows us that trainees and trainers alike believe important training has been missed."

Some of the other significant findings from the GMC survey include:

  • Thirty-eight per cent believe that their opportunities have been reduced significantly, and another 43 per cent said opportunities were reduced slightly due to Covid-19.
  • Over half of trainees (51 per cent) stated they had concerns about their safety and that of colleagues during the pandemic. Of those, more than half reported that their concerns were not addressed in full or addressed at all.
  • 74 per cent of trainees stated that concerns relating to patient safety were taken seriously where they worked, while 5 per cent disagreed.
  • 76 per cent of trainees agreed there was enough staff to ensure patients were always treated by someone with an appropriate level of clinical experience, while 13 per cent disagreed.

Mr Massey, continued: "It is important to recognise that, while formal training has inevitably been disrupted, the pandemic is a learning experience for us all. The experience doctors gain during these challenging times will be valuable for their future careers."

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