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GMC announce plan for greater flexibility for doctors in training

31 Mar 2017

The General Medical Council has today published a report investigating the flexibility of postgraduate training. It found doctors faced considerable barriers to transferring from one specialty to the other, often requiring them to repeat training they have already undertaken. It also found that postgraduate training is slow to adapt to advances in science and technology.

The report outlined several solutions to the issues facing doctors in training, including organising training by outcomes, rather than the current ‘time based’ approach. This will ensure curriculums better reflect the need for today’s workforce to also demonstrate good communication and leadership skills.

Responding to the GMC’s report, Mr Ian Eardley, Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“The GMC’s report echoes many of our members’ views on training. Doctors in the UK receive some of the best training in the world, but for some, this can be hampered by the rigid nature of the training system. Some doctors find it difficult to move from one speciality to the other, whilst others find that training can be slow to adapt to developments in medicine and technology.

“This report is hopefully the first step to overcoming some of these issues. The move to make training more focused on outcomes is particularly welcome, with a new curriculum across all specialities focused on skills that ensure patient care is as safe and effective as it can be.

“The GMC cannot push through these changes alone however. The measures the GMC recommends for improving flexibility of training have our support and we urge other Royal Colleges and NHS organisations to get behind these proposals to ensure doctors in the UK receive the best training possible.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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