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Pre and post qualification training and development of doctors

"Medicine needs to remain a challenging, rewarding and worthwhile career if it is to continue to attract and retain bright, creative and motivated doctors."

BMA representative body chair Ian Wilson

The purpose and goals of medical education, training and development must be universally understood, clear and agreed with the profession.

This document does not aim to define the content and outputs of this process – ie describe the role of the doctor – but seeks to establish some broad principles which must underpin the structure and process of training, and any training reforms, so that it can both evolve with patient need and continue to produce motivated, compassionate and effective doctors.

The needs of patients and rewarding medical careers should drive each other and form a virtuous circle that maintains professionalism and continuously improves care.

This underlying purpose and dynamic of medical training, and what it should be achieving, is underpinned by the following principles.


Key principles

Medical education, training and development must be:

  • Responsive to the population’s health requirements,
  • Rooted in an ethos of professional excellence,
  • An inspiring process of continuous lifelong learning,
  • Fair and inclusive,
  • A supportive, flexible process for learners and trainees,
  • Valued and supported, by employers and infrastructure.



Pre and post qualification training and development of doctors: A British Medical Association vision