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Friday 22nd June 2018

Lack of surgical training posts criticised

8th October 2010

A major investigation has identified a lack of training posts for aspiring surgeons within the NHS.


A study conducted by BMJ Careers has suggested that hundreds of candidates who want to be surgeons are being left behind because there are not enough training opportunities.

With competition for the higher speciality training posts becoming more intense each year, BMJ Careers suggests that many doctors are facing “dead-end career choices”.

BMJ Careers editor Edward Davies said: “As each year goes by, unless training numbers are drastically altered we will be left with ever increasing application ratios and an increasingly demoralised workforce.”

There are as many as 15 candidates for each surgical training post in some cases and there are concerns that hundreds of doctors have been put into training with no hope of them going on to become consultants.

Shreelata Datta, chair of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, said the mismatch could be costing the NHS millions of pounds a year and forcing doctors out of medicine.

The Department of Health pointed out that surgical training had always been highly competitive with competition helping ensure that the best candidates progressed in the field.

A spokeswoman said: “A lot of work has been done nationally by the Royal College of Surgeons and other surgical bodies to determine how best to recruit the most promising doctors into surgical training.”

And she said expertise by those not progressing is not lost as many of the doctors progressed into other specialties such as radiology.


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