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Original research
Regional survey of foundation trainee doctors’ views on a career in gastroenterology: implications for diversity and inclusion


Objective We aimed to establish the perception of foundation doctors (FDs) towards gastroenterology, focusing on identifying determinants which make the career desirable or undesirable between genders, and to recognise factors to increase diversity in recruitment.

Method An electronic survey was circulated to Northwest of England FDs, categorical variables and data were analysed using χ2 test including comparisons by gender and exposure to gastroenterology either as an undergraduate or FD.

Results 133 responses were received (males 55.6%, 37 foundation year 1 (FY1) doctors, 85 FY2 doctors and 11 FY3 doctors). Four (3.0%) FDs were considering a career in gastroenterology. Gastroenterology was perceived positively by 72 (54.1%) of FDs. Significant differences were found between genders in the importance of the following factors influencing specialty selection; patient-centred care (female 52.5% vs male 25.7%, p=0.01), good mentorship (female 67.8% vs male 45.9, p=0.012), income (female 33.9% vs male 59.5%, p=0.003) and length of training (female 27.1% vs male 52.7%, p=0.003). The male predominant existing workforce (female 27.1% vs male 6.8%, p=0.001), and requirement to be a medical registrar (female 74.6% vs male 56.8%, p=0.033) were negatively perceived aspects of gastroenterology among female FDs. Most FDs (female 80.5%, male 70.7%) indicated increased acceptability of less than full time training and greater flexibility may attract more females to gastroenterology.

Conclusion Increased flexibility in training and greater postfoundation exposure and mentorship may improve diversity within the specialty. The role of general medicine poses significant concern for FDs and may need further evaluation.


Data availability statement

Data can be made available upon reasonable request to the corresponding author.

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