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Revalidation is the process for doctors to positively affirm to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are up to date and fit to practice.
It applies to all licenced doctors in the UK working in the NHS and the private sector and all branches of practice. Doctors need to meet the standards set by the GMC, taking into account guidance for their specialty, to maintain their licence to practice.
If you aren’t familiar, you can learn more about the process here
If you are someone who has already been through the revalidation process, what advice would you offer to someone preparing for it for the first time? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #Ready4Reval
Undertake an enhanced Annual Appraisal process, ensure you are connected to a designated body & have a responsible officer. You need to ensure that you have adequate & appropriate evidence to support the areas on GMC GMP domains. Do reflections. Get patient & colleague feedback every 5 yrs. Get adequate CPD done.
The concept of appraisal/revalidation is sound. It is entirely reasonable (this comment is from the perspective of secondary care) that if a patient comes into hospital for an operation/anaesthetic/endoscopy/consultation/any intervention, they should be assured that the individual carrying out any of the above is, at least, competent. The problem is that to assess this competence and fitness in a meaningful, robust and reproducable manner is extraordinarily difficult, time-consuming and expensive. In case anyone hasn't noticed, the NHS is bankrupt.
The result is that the process depends on the like of MSF - dumped by industry/commerce years ago as worthless - and patient satisfaction questionnaires. As a colorectal colleague recently told me, if you want good feedback, do not ask patients in a functional bowel clinic. This is so easily manipulated - and remember Harold Shipman (and a lot of this is about him) would have had excellent patient feedback.
I am a surgeon and I do have hard, measureable outcomes. Sadly they are not measured - my employing body has absolutely no idea what happens to the vast majority of patients on whom I operate or who are admitted under my care as emergencies. As above, collecting this data is far to expensive /time-consuming.
As a result of the above this process depends on the likes of MSF, and 'reflection'!! Perhaps the best illustration of the fundamentally flawed nature of the process is that everyone in a hospital KNOWS the surgeon/anaesthetist/radiologist/physician they or their family would not go to. Will appraisal expose these doctors - not a chance. They will probably have the best prepared appraisal folders.
I have discussed this matter with a very large number of colleagues all round the country. Yet to encounter an experienced, reasonable and thoughtful consultant colleague who thinks that appraisal/revalidation is anything other than a complete, total and utter waste of time- but we all know we have to do it!!
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