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Royal College of Surgeons of England responds to the GMC's National Training Survey

19 Jul 2022

The General Medical Council has today published its National Training Survey results.  This year’s survey included questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic so the GMC can continue to monitor its impact on doctors’ training, work, and wellbeing.  A full breakdown is available via the online reporting tool on the GMC website.  A total of 67,000 trainees and trainers completed the survey – 76% of all trainees and 34% of all trainers.

Key findings include:

  • Nine out of ten trainees rate their clinical supervision as good or very good, and more than four fifths said they were confident they would be able to progress to the next stage of training.
  • Nine out of ten trainers responded to say that they enjoyed their training role, and nearly three quarters said they had the resources they needed to train. However, less than half said they were always able to use the time they had allocated for training; and over a fifth said they haven’t had an education appraisal in the last 12 months.
  • Over half of trainers and nearly two thirds of trainees are at moderate or high risk of burnout. This is the highest level since the GMC introduced questions from the recognised Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, in 2018.

Commenting on the publication of the survey, Miss Fiona Myint, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“These results show that the pandemic continues to impact doctors and that the risk of burnout has increased, which is very worrying. We must use these survey results to drive improvements for trainees and trainers.

“Trainees are our present and future NHS workforce. We need to do everything we can to listen to their concerns and to support them now and in their future careers. Throughout two years of disruption caused by the pandemic, they have worked tirelessly. Their skills will be essential as we tackle the backlog of operations created by COVID.

“We have been calling for surgical trainees to catch up on missed training opportunities caused by the pandemic, as soon as possible, with bespoke programmes that include enhanced theatre time.  Every opportunity must be taken to ensure that every planned NHS operation includes a surgical trainee, including those that take place in the independent sector. We also need to see a fully funded workforce plan as soon as possible, to fill vacancies in the NHS and improve staff wellbeing.  

“The College has a Confidential Support and Advice Service to support health professionals with any pressures they may be experiencing in their professional or personal lives. If you are a member of the College in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and you would like to seek confidential support and advice from a trained counsellor, please call the helpline on 020 7869 6221.”


 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.

For more information, please contact the RCS Eng Press Office:

Telephone: 020 7869 6052/6055


For out-of-hours media enquiries: 020 7869 6056



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