Hospital Dr News

Decline in the number of FY2 doctors moving into UK specialty training continues

New figures suggest the decline in the number of FY2 doctors moving into UK specialty training continues.

The report, called the UK Foundation Programme’s Career Destinations Report 2017, shows that in 2011 71.3% of FY2 doctors went directly into specialty training and in 2017 it was 42.6%.

This is despite the actual number of foundation trainees remaining in the UK to work as a doctor either in service or training posts increasingly slightly compared to last year.

Of the total respondents, 55.7% applied for (but were not necessarily appointed to) specialty training posts in the UK.

Progression into specialty training is influenced by many factors including the availability of posts in a specialty and/or location, the report suggests.

The GMC has been monitoring the number of previous FY2s in training each year following the completion of FY2.

The latest data published in July 2017 indicates that overall 90% of previous FY2 doctors are back in training four years after the completion of FY2 training.

However, the GMC report also notes that the impact of breaks in training affect the four countries of the UK differently and that the combined impact of break-takers and movers is greatest for Scotland and Wales.

The number of trainees taking a career break between FY2 and specialty training is static at circa 13%.

The 2017 data shows that 6.4% of respondents intended to take a career break after foundation when asked in FY1 but this increased to 13.8% when asked again at the end of FY2.

Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, BMA junior doctors committee chair, commented: “These figures are certainly striking, but are not surprising for those of us working on the frontline of an under-resourced and struggling NHS.

“Our own research published last month showed that junior doctors often feel that after two years on the foundation programme, they need to step off the treadmill of training and take a step back before making such 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 to 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.

“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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