The state of medical education and practice in the UK

Download the 2021 report (pdf)

The state of medical education and practice in the UK is our annual report on the realities and challenges faced by medical professionals in the UK’s healthcare systems.

First published in 2011, the report uses data and insights from the medical register, our national training survey, the Barometer survey, in-depth interviews and focus groups to provide a comprehensive picture of doctors’ experiences, as well as trends in the medical workforce and education.


This year's report

 This year’s report looks at how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the recovery have affected doctors’ work and training. It provides valuable insights into their thoughts, experiences, and intentions for the future. And it highlights learnings that the UK health services can use to support doctors and patients.

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Barometer survey

We commissioned IFF Research to conduct an online survey of doctors: the Barometer survey.

The survey is run annually and allows us to report on changes in doctors’ career intentions, experiences in the workplace, and frequency of adaptations to pressurised environments.

Its key findings are reported in The state of medical education and practice in the UK.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the key research questions were adapted for the 2020 and 2021 research to explore:

  • the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on doctors’ working lives
  • doctors’ experiences of working in a system under pressure and the impacts this has on patient safety and doctor wellbeing
  • doctors’ satisfaction with their working lives and drivers for this
  • likelihood to make career changes in the next year, including the likelihood to leave the UK medical profession.

Previous reports

See our findings from 2011 to 2020