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Open Access Research article

Survey of UK radiology trainees in the aftermath of ‘Modernising Medical Careers’

Grant Mair1*, Fiona Ewing2 and John T Murchison1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SA, UK

2 Department of Radiology, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Medical Education 2012, 12:93  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-93

Published: 2 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Following implementation of Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) in the UK, potential radiology trainees must decide on their career and apply sooner than ever before. We aimed to determine whether current trainees were sufficiently informed to make an earlier career decision by comparing the early radiology experiences of Traditional and Foundation Trainees.

Methods

344 radiology trainees were appointed through MMC in 2007/08. This cohort was surveyed online.

Results

Response rate was 174/344 (51%). Traditional Trainees made their career decision 2.6 years after graduation compared with 1.2 years for Foundation Trainees (57/167, 34%). Nearly half of responders (79/169, 47%) experienced no formal radiology teaching as undergraduates. Most trainees regularly attended radiology meetings, spent time in a radiology department and/or performed radiology research. Many trainees received no career advice specific to radiology (69/163, 42%) at any point prior to entering the specialty; this includes both formal and informal advice. Junior doctor experiences were more frequently cited as influencing career choice (98/164, 60%). An earlier career decision was associated with; undergraduate radiology projects (-0.72 years, p = 0.018), career advice (-0.63 years, p = 0.009) and regular attendance at radiology meetings (-0.65 years, p = 0.014).

Conclusion

Early experience of radiology enables trainees to make an earlier career decision, however current radiology trainees were not always afforded relevant experiences prior to entering training. Radiologists need to be more proactive in encouraging the next generation of trainees.

Keywords:
Radiology; Training; Modernising; Medical; Careers; MMC; Undergraduate; Postgraduate; Survey