Response to the Shape of Training Review
29 Oct 2013
Responding to the Shape of Training Review, Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:
'We welcome many aspects of this report, particularly its focus on ensuring that postgraduate medical education and training is responsive to changing demographic and patient needs. However, from a surgical perspective we do have some concerns. As acknowledged by the review, surgery takes time to master. It is unclear how, without significantly lengthening their training, surgeons in highly specialist areas such as cardiothoracic surgery or neurosurgery would acquire the necessary skills and experience in the proposed broad based training programmes. We await further detail on how this will work in practice.
While the College supports the re-introduction of apprenticeship based training, at the heart of this is the relationship between trainers and trainees which is often undermined by shift patterns and rotas. The report does not say how more time for training will be made available under the current working patterns of trainees.
The recommendation that registration is awarded a year earlier, following graduation from medical school, is of concern to the College. For some time we have expressed our disquiet about the lack of a national curriculum across medical schools. While the review acknowledges issues with undergraduate training, we await to see how medical schools will provide assurance that graduates are capable of working safely in a clinical environment having had limited experience on hospital wards.'
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