Why UK Junior Doctors Defer Postgraduate Training: Why UK Junior Doctors Defer Postgraduate Training

Huw Jones, Melanie Dowling , Shirley Remington, JEREMY BROWN

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Abstract

Objectives

National surveys have identified a declining trend in UK Foundation Year 2 doctors (FY2s) entering directly into training positions. Last year less than half entered training directly. We aimed to explore the reasons why current FY2s choose not to enter training directly.

Methods

This is a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. We used thematic framework analysis to code the data into themes for analysis.


Results

“Feeling unprepared for training” and “lack of flexibility” were the two main themes identified from the interviews. A lack of clinical exposure and career advice were cited as reasons to feel unprepared. Flexibility was very important to the FY2s we interviewed. Family considerations, working abroad and financial reasons were commonly cited considerations to delay training.

Conclusions

Taking time out of training after FY2 appears to have become normalised. The main reasons cited by the cohort we interviewed as reasons not to apply for training positions were linked to feeling unprepared and a perceived lack of flexibility in training.

Keywords

  • Postgraduate medical education; work-life balance; specialty training; Career Choice.

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