Article Text

Hepatology training in the UK
  1. Imran Patanwala1,2,
  2. Mark Hudson1,2,3
  1. 1Liver Unit Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3British Association for the Study of the Liver, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark Hudson, Liver Unit, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK; Mark.hudson{at}


Objectives To establish the perceived adequacy of the hepatology training component of the unified gastroenterology and hepatology training programme in the UK by assessing the attitudes and experiences of trainees in the programme.

Design and intervention Online cross-sectional questionnaire survey linked to the annual British Society of Gastroenterology/Trainee in Gastroenterology survey in 2010.

Setting and participants National survey of all specialist gastroenterology trainees in the UK.

Results 283/489 (58%) trainees responded, 68% were male. 54% of all trainees wanted to deliver liver services as consultants. 25% of trainees complete training without exposure to a liver unit providing comprehensive specialist hepatology services. Median time spent in such a unit for the others was 8 months (IQR 6). Significantly fewer trainees lacked confidence in managing liver-related conditions if they had spent time training in a specialist liver unit and with increasing years in training. One in three trainees is dissuaded from a career in hepatology. One in five trainees wished to work part time as consultants—an option preferred significantly more by women.

Conclusions Hepatology training in the UK is perceived by trainees as being suboptimal. A national strategy aimed at improving and standardising hepatology training and making specialist liver unit experience available for every trainee is required.

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  • Competing interests None.

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

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