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GMC reveals plan for better medical training

On 31st March 2017, the General Medical Council (GMC) has revealed a new Flexible training plan that aims to improve training paths for doctors by moving away from rigid training and allowing trainees more flexibility while they learn.

The new plan follows a review of training, which the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, asked the GMC to carry out during the contract dispute last year. It is an analysis that heard from trainers, trainees, patients and the medical colleges and faculties.

The outcomes of the review found that the current approach of training was in desperate need of modification and out of date, something that the new plan will look to change.

The new plan finds five key barriers to improving training flexibility including: 

  • Inflexible training structures can make rota gaps worse
  • Training in alternative ways such as overseas and through experience in non-training grade posts not being recognised.
  • Postgraduate training was found to be slow to adapt to patient need and demand.
  • Extra career support was put in place to help doctors who want to refocus their training without starting from square one
  • Doctors having difficulties to start training from scratch if they decided to transfer between specialties. This is caused by the complex legal framework controlling UK postgraduate training.

The chief executive of the GMC, Charlie Massey said that the actions set out in the GMC report can make a significant difference to the professional lives of doctors and the choices they make about their careers. But ultimately it is patients who will benefit the most from these changes.

He further added that the GMC was ideally placed to drive changes forward but that extra flexibility and choice for doctors was a change that could not be delivered alone.

Now, the GMC will work with the medical colleges and faculties, the Academy, the national education bodies, and professional organisations of the four UK countries to develop the plans further.

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