Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
UK-wide study of the opinions of gastroenterology trainees: COVID-19, Shape of Training and the future workforce
  1. Suneil A Raju1,
  2. Rebecca Harris2,
  3. Charlotte Cook3,
  4. Philip Harvey4,
  5. Elizabeth Ratcliffe5
  6. British Society of Gastroenterology Trainees Section
    1. 1 Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
    2. 2 Digestive Diseases Centre, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham, UK
    3. 3 Department of Hepatology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
    4. 4 Gastroenterology, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
    5. 5 Gastroenterology, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Blackburn, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Suneil A Raju, Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; suneilraju{at}


    Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted training. Gastroenterology higher specialty training is soon to be reduced from 5 years to 4. The British Society of Gastroenterology Trainees Section biennial survey aims to delineate the impact of COVID-19 on training and the opinions on changes to training.

    Methods An electronic survey allowing for anonymised responses at the point of completion was distributed to all gastroenterology trainees from September to November 2020.

    Results During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 71.0% of the respondents stated that more than 50% of their clinical time was mostly within general internal medicine. Trainees reported a significant impact on all aspects of their gastroenterology training due to lost training opportunities and increasing service commitments. During the first wave, 88.5% of the respondents reported no access to endoscopy training lists. Since this time, 66.2% of the respondents stated that their endoscopy training lists had restarted. This has resulted in fewer respondents achieving endoscopy accreditation. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused 42.2% of the respondents to consider extending their training to obtain the skills required to complete training. Furthermore, 10.0% of the respondents reported concerns of a delay to completion of training. The majority of respondents (84.2%) reported that they would not feel ready to be a consultant after 4 years of training.

    Conclusions Reductions in all aspects of gastroenterology training were reported. This is mirrored in anticipated concerns about completion of training in a shorter training programme as proposed in the new curriculum. Work is now required to ensure training is restored following the pandemic.

    • COVID-19
    • endoscopy
    • endoscopic procedures

    Data availability statement

    Data are available upon reasonable request.

    This article is made freely available for personal use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Data availability statement

    Data are available upon reasonable request.

    View Full Text


    • Collaborators British Sciety of Gastroenterology Trainees Section: Abdullah Abbasi, Ruridh Allen, Aaron S Bancil, Fraser C Brown, Radha Gadhok, James Gulliver, Yazan Haddadin, Andreas Hadjinicolaou, Arif Hussenbux, Michael Johnston, lisa McNeill, Adnan Rahman, Uma Selvarajah, Elizabeth Sweeney.

    • Contributors All authors helped design, complete and write the study. SR is acting as the 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.

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