The General Medical Council (GMC) commissioned the research to help understand how well graduate doctors are prepared to meet the challenges of working in the health service within three areas of practice:
- The changing doctor-patient relationship;
- The doctor in a multi-disciplinary team;
- Complex clinical decision making.
What were the key findings?
- Medical education is producing doctors that are prepared for many aspects of practice in these areas including, communication, patient centred care, MDTs led by other healthcare professionals, understanding team hierarchies, knowing when to escalate decisions and self-awareness.
- Areas where the preparedness of recent graduates is more mixed includes complex clinical decision-making in acute settings, fostering empowerment, complex communication, dealing with uncertainty, leadership, and prioritising tasks.
- The findings emphasise that there is only so much preparation that medical schools can provide for the role of foundation doctor; many aspects have to be learned on the job. Future changes to medical education provision should focus on providing more experiential learning and programmes where medical students get to experience working within MDTs and ‘act up’ to the role of the foundation doctor.