Medical student England

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Study shows student dismay over contract

Harrison Carter portrait serious 16x9

Nearly three-quarters of medical students admit they are more likely to pursue their careers outside the NHS because of dismay with the junior doctors’ contract.

A survey of medical students in England carried out by the BMA that received more than 1,000 responses shows the shocking extent to which many feel disillusioned with the prospect of having to work under an imposed contract.

A total of 74.5 per cent said they were more likely to pursue a career outside the NHS, with 82.9 per cent saying they were more likely to leave the UK to pursue medicine; 82.4 per cent of respondents said the contract and EIA (equality impact assessment) made them less likely to pursue a career in the NHS in England upon graduating; 72 per cent admitted they were more likely to look for a job in the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish NHS.

BMA medical students committee co-chair Harrison Carter (pictured) said the findings painted an alarming and disheartening picture of the views of the next generation of doctors in England.

He added: ‘This feedback reveals the extent to which many medical students in England are deeply concerned about the Government’s plans to impose a new contract on new junior doctors.

‘The fact that such large numbers are considering leaving the NHS in England and in some cases the NHS and the UK altogether, shows how far ministers have eroded the trust of those wanting to pursue a career in medicine.’


Enthusiasm curbed

The survey, conducted between 7 and 15 April, asked students to rate to what extent the contract and the Department of Health’s EIA had influenced their career aims and attitudes.

Other results from the survey showed that the impending junior doctors’ contract had led to 94 per cent of respondents feeling less enthusiastic about the idea of working in the NHS.

More than three-quarters — 76.5 per cent — said that they were now less likely to recommend studying medicine to friends and family.

The results of the survey were among the issues under discussion at this year’s medical students conference on 22 to 23 April.

The aim of the conference was to provide those attending with  a comprehensive update on issues affecting students and a chance for students to meet, network and exchange examples of good practice.

Lord Robert Winston was among the speakers at the conference.

Find out more about the survey

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