Introduction A national survey of UK gastroenterology trainees in 20071 identified high rates of participation in research and Out Of Programme Experience (OOPE). 49.6% of respondents were currently or had already undertaken OOPE. Trainees' success at fellowship applications to the major funding bodies ranged from 23.5 to 29.9%. The changes in academic training pathways post Walport and the Modernising Medical Careers process will have implications for both academic and clinical trainees wishing to undertake a period of out-of-programme experience (OOPE), although the effects are currently unclear.
Aims The aims were to determine:
Trainees' experience of OOPE
Trainees' success at research fellowship application
The perceived barriers to undertaking a period of OOPE
Methods A Web-based national survey of trainees in Gastroenterology in the UK was carried out in September 2009, supported by the British Society of Gastroenterology.
Results 237 trainees completed the survey in 2009, 73% (n=173) male, 27% (n=64) female. All training years and regions were evenly represented. 89.9% (n=213) were in clinical training programmes, with 10.1% (n=24) in a Walport training programme. 88.7% of trainees expressed a wish to undertake OOPE/research. 55.7% (n=132) of respondents were currently in or had previously undertaken OOPE. 50% (n=61) of these had registered for a PhD and 34% (n=45) an MD. 47.7% (n=113) of trainees had completed their OOPE at the time of survey and of this group 15.9% (n=18) had received their degree. Trainees had success rates between 12.5% and 40.8% for clinical research fellowships. 94.9% (n=225) of trainees feel that attainment of a higher degree will make them more competitive at NHS consultant interviews. The most common reasons for not undertaking OOPE were related to competition for funding and personal financial implications.
Conclusion The majority of trainees express a desire to undertake OOPE and rates of participation in research/OOPE remains high. UK gastroenterology trainees are competitive for major fellowship programmes. Further surveys will be needed to study the effects of MMC and Walport, as well as the effects of increasing student debt on participation in OOPE.
- out of programme education
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Competing interests None.