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Review calls for more generalist doctors

29 October 2013

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The changing healthcare landscape deserves a new way of training doctors, an independent report has claimed. 

The Shape of Training Review, published today, makes clear that patients need doctors who are able to provide general care in broad speciality areas across a range of different settings. 

Significant medical, technological and scientific advantages mean that doctors training must be updated, the review concludes.

Recommendations from the report include:  

Following broad speciality training, doctors should train in more specialised areas according to local patient and workforce needs

Medicine has to be a sustainable career with opportunities to change roles and specialties throughout doctors’ careers

Full Registration should move to the point of graduation from medical school, provided there are measures in place to demonstrate graduates meet the GMC’s standards at the end of medical school

Implementation of these recommendations must be carefully planned on a UK wide basis to ensure minimum disruption to service

Professor David Greenaway, the report’s author said: “Patients’ needs are changing fast and we need to ensure that medical training keeps pace.

“I trust the Government, and all those that work in and with the health service will adopt and use the report to steer the changes in postgraduate medical education and training to meet patient needs and ensure that doctors in the UK continue to receive the highest quality training.” 

Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers said: “Employers generally favour the proposed move to a more broad based training system. 

“Medical careers and consequently pay and terms and conditions will need to change to reflect this, as will the way doctors’ careers progress – and this is timely given the negotiations taking place with doctors on terms and conditions.”

General Medical Council chair Professor Sir Peter Rubin said: “Some of the recommendations will require further discussion, including the suggestion that full registration should be awarded at the point of graduation from medical school. But overall we are confident that these recommendations will help to improve the way doctors are trained and provide clear benefits for patients and the public within the health service now and in the future. 

“The key is to ensure that we are able to make steady progress towards these reforms while maintaining some stability in a system that has already been subject to a great deal of change and pressure in recent years.”

The full report is available to view on the Shape of Training website