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Medics' input vital for training review

Doctors are being urged to help shape the future landscape of UK medical education and training.

The BMA is keen to hear the views of doctors and medical students on what postgraduate medical training should look like over the next three decades.

It is continuing to encourage doctors to respond individually to the independent Shape of Training Review, but also wants members to feed into the association’s official response, which is being coordinated by the BMA junior doctors committee.

The call for action follows a presentation from the Shape of Training Review team at last week’s JDC meeting.

Possible reforms include:

  • Changing the balance between specialism and generalism in training
  • Streamlining the number of CCT specialties (certificates of completion of training). There are currently around 65, with 35 subspecialties. Instead, there could be a system with more transferable competencies. There could also be a separate academic clinical medicine CCT
  • Regulating physician assistants, and giving them prescribing rights and responsibility for work such as radiological investigations
  • Providing geriatric medicine training to all doctors to help deliver care to an ageing population.


Tailored teaching

JDC chair Ben Molyneux said the review was a major piece of work, looking at changing medical training to improve the experience of junior doctors and equip the health service with the right staff trained in the right way.

He added: ‘There are lots of ideas being floated, some good but some that cause concern. The Shape of Training team is currently in listening mode, so now is the time to set their agenda.

‘I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of medical training to add their opinions to those we have already submitted.’

The review, which is sponsored by organisations that include the GMC, the Medical Schools Council and the UK health departments, has already had more than 100 responses.

GMC assistant director of postgraduate education Vicky Osgood, who is secretary to the review, and Stuart Carney, clinical lead to the review, gave the JDC presentation.


Age-old question

Welsh JDC chair Dai Samuel asked: ‘With an ageing population, do you feel in the future all physicians should be geriatricians with a specialist interest?’

Dr Osgood said: ‘I think there is something about everyone having the skills to work with an older population. Of hospital admissions, 30 per cent have a mental health condition, and 20 per cent of them have dementia … We are not training for that [at the moment].’

The call for evidence closes on February 8. Oral evidence sessions, in which the BMA will take part, begin in spring. The review will report in the autumn of 2013.

Email your ideas and concerns to [email protected]