Objective Academic medical training was overhauled in 2005 after the Walport report and Modernising Medical Careers to create a more attractive and transparent training pathway. In 2007 and 2016, national web-based surveys of gastroenterology trainees were undertaken to determine experiences, perceptions of and perceived barriers to out-of-programme research experience (OOP-R).
Design, setting and patients Prospective, national web-based surveys of UK gastroenterology trainees in 2007 and 2016.
Main outcome measure Attitudes to OOP-R of two cohorts of gastroenterology trainees.
Results Response rates were lower in 2016 (25.8% vs 56.7%) (p<0.0001), although female trainees’ response rates increased (from 28.8% to 37.6%) (p=0.17), along with higher numbers of academic trainees. Over 80% of trainees planned to undertake OOP-R in both surveys, with >50% having already undertaken it. Doctor of Philosophy/medical doctorate remained the most popular OOP-R in both cohorts. Successful fellowship applications increased in 2016, and evidence of gender inequality in 2007 was no longer evident in 2016. In the 2016 cohort, 91.1% (n=144) felt the development of trainee-led research networks was important, with 74.7% (n=118) keen to get involved.
Conclusions The majority of gastroenterology trainees who responded expressed a desire to undertake OOP-R, and participation rates in OOP-R remain high. Despite smaller absolute numbers responding than in 2007, 2016 trainees achieved higher successful fellowship application rates. Reassuringly more trainees in 2016 felt that OOP-R would be important in the future. Efforts are needed to tackle potential barriers to OOP-R and support trainees to pursue research-active careers.
- academic medicine
- out of programme
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Contributors MM: data analysis, manuscript writing; NB, LC, LA, FC, BRD, ADF, EF, GS: data collection, manuscript writing; MAH, JM, HE, JS: manuscript preparation; MJB: data collection, manuscript writing, project guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Further data are available on request from the corresponding author.