Doctors urged to share their experience of workplace learning

Doctors are being urged to share their experience of workplace learning, support and supervision in the UK, as the General Medical Council (GMC) today launches its annual survey on medical training.

The national training survey is the largest insight into postgraduate medical training in the UK. Last year, more than 70,000 doctors across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales completed the survey, giving an unparalleled picture of what is working well and what needs to be improved.

Responses help the GMC, medical education bodies and employers make sure that trainees and trainers are supported in their roles. 

When results are published, later in the year, trusts, boards and individual sites are expected to drill into their data to identify any areas in need of more attention. 

The survey is confidential, with answers to multiple choice questions published anonymously as aggregated totals. To further protect identity, results in departments with fewer than three responses aren't reported.

Last year’s survey included questions on doctors’ experiences of discrimination for the first time. The results showed that most doctors in training said they worked in supportive environments. However more than a quarter said they’d experienced micro-aggressions, insults, stereotyping, negative comments, or oppressive body language from colleagues. 

The results have helped to inform work encouraging workplace cultures where those who witness or experience discrimination are supported to speak up.

Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, said: 

‘Access to high-quality training is absolutely vital, not just for the progression of doctors and their development but in helping to maintain patient safety. It is therefore essential this access is protected.

‘Every year, the national training survey plays a significant role in highlighting areas where there is great practice, and those where more attention is needed, not just from the perspective of those learning, but also those training.

‘This is an important opportunity for all trainees and trainers to tell us about their experiences. The information they provide is key and goes a long way to ensuring the continued high quality of medical training in the UK.’

The survey is optimised for mobile phones and tablets and should take around 20 minutes to complete. There is also a shorter five-minute survey designed specifically for trainers.

Questions cover topics such as:

  • discriminatory behaviours in the workplace.
  • the quality of teaching, supervision and experience.
  • workloads and burnout. 
  • time available to deliver, receive or catch-up on training. 
  • access to break rooms, study spaces and study leave.
  • impact of incivility and rudeness on workplaces.

The survey is open until midday on Thursday 2 May. The results will be published later this year.

Find out more about the national training survey.