Training during the pandemic – GMC urges doctors to make their voices count
Doctors are being urged to have their say on how the pandemic has affected their workplace learning, as the General Medical Council (GMC) today (Tuesday, 20 April) launches its annual training survey.
Tens of thousands of doctors in training, and senior doctors who act as trainers, are being asked to take part in the regulator’s national training survey, making it the UK’s largest annual insight into workplace education and training.
This year’s national training survey is the first full survey since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. It will provide the most detailed picture yet of how coronavirus has impacted on doctors’ training and career progression.
"Every voice counts. The more voices we hear from the more we can do to improve the places where doctors train, and to improve the training they receive."
Professor Colin Melville
GMC Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards
Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, said:
‘The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on all aspects of healthcare. The NTS will help us understand the extent of that impact on training. The responses will influence our work, with others, to help make sure training recovers as we move on from this extraordinary time.
‘But to do so effectively we need to have input from as many doctors as possible, trainers as well as trainees from all parts of the UK and from across different specialties and workplaces. Every voice counts. The more voices we hear from the more we can do to improve the places where doctors train, and to improve the training they receive.’
In all, around 100,000 doctors are eligible to take part in the national training survey. The 2020 survey was scaled down due to the pandemic but the last full national training survey, in 2019, was completed by more than 75,000 doctors, including around 95% of trainees.
Questions are tailored to trainees and trainers and cover areas including workloads and burnout; time available to deliver or receive training; access to break rooms and study spaces, and incivility and rudeness in the workplace. This year’s survey also includes questions specifically about the impact of the pandemic.
The responses provide an unparalleled picture of healthcare training environments, down to department, hospital and trust or board level, across all four UK countries. They support the GMC, medical education bodies and employers in making sure trainees receive high-quality training and that trainers are properly supported.
This year’s national training survey is open for four weeks, until Tuesday 18 May. The results will be available later in the year, via an online reporting tool that allows trusts, boards and sites to identify where they are performing well as well as where they need to improve.