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Shape of Training Review: an impact assessment for UK gastroenterology trainees
  1. Jennifer Clough1,
  2. Michael FitzPatrick2,
  3. Philip Harvey3,
  4. Liam Morris4
  5. BSG Trainees section
  1. 1 Gastroenterology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Translational Gastroenterology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 Gastroenterology, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4 Gastroenterology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer Clough, Gastroenterology, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK; jennifer.clough{at}


Background Physician training in the UK is undergoing considerable change due to the implementation of recommendations made in the Shape of Training Review. In particular, higher specialty training (HST), including gastroenterology, will be shortened from 5 to 4 years. This will also incorporate general internal medicine (GIM) training. There is concern among gastroenterologists regarding how high-quality gastroenterology training will be delivered in 4 years.

Methods The 2018 British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) trainees’ survey results were used to examine the potential impact of a 4-year HST period on achieving key competencies in gastroenterology.

Results 291 (49.4%) gastroenterology trainees responded. Satisfaction with gastroenterology training was high (79.6% respondents), and self-reported confidence in hepatology training was also high (84% senior respondents). However, only half (51.1%) of the respondents achieved complete colonoscopy certification by their final year of training. Comparison with the 2014 BSG trainees’ survey demonstrated that the number of endoscopy procedures achieved by trainees has reduced in sigmoidoscopy (p=0.006) and colonoscopy (p<0.001). The proportion of time spent in GIM training has increased since the last survey, with 81.8% of the respondents spending more than 25% of their time in GIM. GIM training was reported to be a key barrier to adequate gastroenterology and endoscopy training.

Conclusion These data indicate significant barriers to delivering gastroenterology and endoscopy training within the current 5-year programme. Novel strategies will be required to improve the rate of progression in endoscopy training, in particular if high-quality gastroenterology HST training is to be delivered in 4 years.

  • endoscopy
  • colonoscopy
  • nutrition

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  • JC, MF, PH and LM contributed equally.

  • Collaborators British Society of Gastroenterology Trainees’ Committee.

  • Contributors JC, MF, PH and LM, in addition to the representatives of the BSG Trainees’ Section, were involved in the planning and design of the survey. JC wrote and administered the survey. JC, MF and PH performed the data analyses. MF and PH created the figures and tables. JC, MF, PH and LM wrote and edited the manuscript, and approved the final version.

  • 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 The authors hold positions as regional representatives on the BSG Trainees’ Committee, and MF is co-chair of the Royal College of Physicians London Trainees’ Committee.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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