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New approach to Medical Registrar training in order to alleviate staff shortages

Last month, a new flexible portfolio training (FPT) pilot scheme was launched with the aim of attracting doctors into hard to recruit posts.

The pilot scheme, developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Health Education England, is aimed at juniors who will train in general internal medicine alongside their chosen specialty, such as acute medicine or geriatrics.

Being a Medical Registrar is a demanding role, with responsibility for managing acutely ill patients – often out-of-hours.

The FPT pilot is intended to offer more work-life balance to Med Regs, by allowing them to spend one day a week in a non-clinical setting.

This day a week can be spent in four different ways – medical education, quality improvement, research or clinical informatics.

The scheme is being offered for a range of medical specialties and areas that are currently struggling to recruit doctors.

So, for example, in Yorkshire and Humberside 15 FPT posts are being offered in Endocrinology and Diabetes and Acute Medicine.

In the South West, 8 trainee posts are available in Geriatrics, Respiratory, Endocrinology and Diabetes and Acute Medicine.

The RCP analysed why certain regions and specialties struggled to fill vacancies, and the feedback focused on the pressure of being a medical registrar.

The scheme is supported by Health Education England, which has a programme of enhancing junior doctors’ lives. There will be between 65-70 FPT posts offered nationally around England.

Each post will operate as a normal national training number and trusts will not receive any additional funding for taking on FPT trainees.

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