Survey confirms disrupted learning for majority of trainee doctors

MORE than 80 per cent of trainee doctors report that disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced learning needed to progress their careers, according to the 2020 National Training Survey carried out by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Half of trainees (51 per cent) said they had concerns about their safety or that of colleagues during the pandemic – with more than half of those reporting that their concerns were not addressed in full or at all.

However, most of the respondents (74 per cent) agreed that concerns relating to patient safety were taken seriously where they worked and 76 per cent agreed there were enough staff to ensure patients were always treated by someone with an appropriate level of clinical experience.

Most respondents reported that their workplaces were supportive and that they felt valued in their roles, with a culture of teamwork encouraged.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: "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.

"This is no surprise, but it is important now that we work hard, with training providers, postgraduate deans and others, to protect training as we cope with this significant and ongoing challenge.

"Despite the challenges, we have also seen many examples of good practice, including where training has been delivered virtually, and excellent teamwork, to address the sudden demands of the pandemic.

"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."

The GMC runs its National Training Survey annually and this year was completed by more than 38,000 doctors in training and senior doctors acting as trainers.

Link: National Training Survey 2020 – Summary of results