This year’s national training survey shows that more doctors in training than ever are satisfied with the quality of their medical training. Trainee anaesthetist, Kathryn Lloyd-Thomas, reflects on her experiences of how the survey is helping to bring about improvements.
It’s that time of year again – the results of the National Training Survey are revealed. For trainee doctors like me the annual survey has become a bit of an institution. No, it’s not Wimbledon or Glastonbury but it is the one chance trainees have to give anonymous, constructive feedback about their training.
The views of nearly 54,000 of us – foundation, core and specialty – are gathered together like pieces of a jigsaw to reveal a national picture of what we think about our training. At the same time, it lets us drill down to the finer detail to see what’s happening in our own local training environment.
So what happens next? The survey is an opportunity for deaneries, LETBs, colleges and employers to identify where they could be doing better and make improvements. And to work together with doctors in training to achieve this.
I found working with my deanery really rewarding. Some problem areas had been identified in the survey. I got involved by speaking to my fellow trainees, gathering detailed ideas about how things could work better. Our suggestions were used as part of wider changes, and the end results were really positive. It felt good to have played a part in getting the ball rolling and helping the next generation of trainees.
Personally, I’m really glad the national training survey exists. It lets us trainees give honest feedback about our training, whether it’s about the quality of induction and clinical supervision we’re getting or whether we think we’re being well prepared for our future careers.
It’s really important to raise concerns locally but it’s often hard for trainees, especially those at foundation level or in a small place, to speak out. The national training survey gives doctors in training another opportunity to do this, collectively.
That’s why I think the survey is so valuable. It allows me to combine my views with all trainees in my department. Collectively our voices are stronger.