GMC clarifies expectations of newly qualified doctors
The skills and procedures newly qualified doctors need to be able to perform by the time they start work have been updated today (Tuesday 9 April) by the General Medical Council (GMC).
The Practical skills and procedures list sets out what procedures newly qualified doctors need to be able to demonstrate when they finish medical school. Schools have until 2020 to include them in their curricula.
While core procedures remain unchanged from the previous list, published in 2009, several new skills are introduced, including ophthalmoscopy (eye examination) and otoscopy (ear examination).
The new list also sets out whether newly qualified doctors need to be able to perform procedures on a patient on their own or under supervision from a senior colleague.
"The world of medicine and medical education is rapidly changing with new technologies, evolving expectations and different ways of working regularly being introduced."
Professor Colin Melville
Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards
Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, said:
'However, the list of practical skills and procedures that students must be able to perform by the time they graduate was last updated ten years ago.
‘Doctors should have the best possible experience from their education and training, to equip them for fulfilling and sustained careers. As well as new and updated procedures, this new list covers the whole encounter between doctor and patient; from introducing themselves to arranging appropriate aftercare or monitoring.’
The updated list comes after the GMC carried out a public consultation and extensive engagement involving students, medical schools and postgraduate stakeholders.
The feedback highlighted a previous lack of consistency in whether students were meant to perform procedures on a patient or within a simulation, which has been clarified in the new list.
Professor Melville added:
‘The previous list focused solely on the physical process of carrying out a procedure, but not how it fitted into the consultation and overall care of the patient. Because of this, there was variation in how schools assessed a student’s competence, and consequently in how prepared newly qualified doctors felt when they started working.
‘It was important for us to understand what newly qualified doctors need to be able to do, and how we could make the list as clear as possible, so medical schools can make sure their new graduates are safely able to meet these standards, and students are clear on what’s expected of them.’
The GMC’s Practical skills and procedures list, as well as Outcomes for graduates, are designed to ensure consistency in undergraduate medical education, although medical schools are free to design and deliver their own curricula for students.