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Career intentions and choices of paediatricians entering training in the UK

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posted on 2015-03-06, 16:30 authored by David Shortland, Damian Roland, Daniel Lumsden, Carol Ewing, Martin McColgan, Shazia Mahmood, Rachel Winch, Veline L’Esperance
The paediatric workforce has grown substantially in recent years and roles have considerably changed with the introduction of working time legislation and a move towards trained doctor solutions. This study aims to assess whether the right workforce is being trained to meet future demand for paediatric services by gaining a better understanding of paediatric trainees’ career intentions Method: The RCPCH workforce team devised a questionnaire survey sent to paediatric specialist trainees when they were expected to have completed their ST1 year or Fixed Term Specialty Training Appointments (FTSTA) trainees in 2009 (part 1) and paediatric specialist trainees when they were expected to have completed their ST3 year in 2011 (part 2). Results: For part 1 of the survey, the response rate was 79.1%. In part 2 an overall response rate of 80.5% was achieved and 80% in part 1. 87.4% of those who had responded to part 1 also responded to part 2. The attrition rate between ST1 and ST3 was 15%. Of those still training in paediatrics, at ST3 38.7% intended to be subspecialty paediatricians, 25.7% general paediatricians, 5.4% community paediatricians, 3.5% academic paediatricians, 26% were undecided and 0.6% did not intend to be paediatricians. The proportion of trainees who are undecided about their career intentions had risen substantially from 7.7% at ST1 to 26% at ST3 and there was an overall decrease in trainees’ confidence in obtaining a consultant post between ST1 and ST3, with only 11.4% of trainees now stating they are confident in obtaining a post in their chosen specialty.Conclusion: Tracking the career progression of paediatric trainees provides greater insight into the workforce planning for future paediatricians. Workforce planning is a complex task and these results indicate assumptions about final careers, and even intention to remain within paediatrics, should not be made.



Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2014

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Archives of Disease in Childhood


BMJ Publishing Group for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, European Academy of Paediatrics





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