Article Text


Gastroenterology trainees' views on educational supervisors: do they fulfil their role?
  1. D G Walker *1,
  2. J N Walker2,
  3. T R Orchard1
  1. 1Gastroenterology, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2OCDEM, University Of Oxford, Oxford, UK


Introduction Since January 2010 all educational supervisors in London must be accredited for their role against a set of mandatory requirements developed by the London Deanery. The aim of this study was to first analyse how closely the experience of North London gastroenterology trainees fits with the London Deanery guidelines for what is expected of educational supervisors and second to determine what aspects of educational supervision trainees felt were most important. To date, no studies related to educational supervisors have been performed in the specialty of gastroenterology.

Methods The study was conducted in two parts. first, gastroenterology trainees from Imperial College London participated in a focus group to help develop a questionnaire which consisted of a 9-item self-report Likert scale with a 5-point response choice (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Additionally, there was an open-ended question that asked participants to comment on what they felt the most important aspects of educational supervision were. The questionnaire was personally distributed to 61 registrars at a North London gastroenterology training day with a 98% (60/61) completion rate. The Likert scale results were reported as item level frequencies and the responses from the open question were organised into themes for further analysis.

Results Ninety-eight percent of trainees (59/60) had an educational supervisor. Overall, the results illustrated that trainees felt that their educational supervision fell below the standards expected by the London Deanery. 58% of trainees felt that they do not receive sufficient input into their portfolios. 39% felt they do not receive sufficient feedback on their work-based assessments and 37% reported that they were not set adequate educational objectives. The open question highlighted a number of attributes that trainees felt would make a good educational supervisor. Three out of the top five attributes relate to pastoral care (supportive, available & approachable) which were not part of the mandatory requirements in the London Deanery framework.

Conclusion It is encouraging that 98% of trainees had been assigned an educational supervisor. However, over a third of trainees felt their supervisor could be more effective in providing input into their e-portfolios, giving feedback on assessments and setting educational objectives. It is very important that educational supervisors are aware of these findings so standards can be improved. The study also suggests that trainees value other aspects of educational supervision that are not captured by the current requirements; Deaneries should examine this further when forming future guidelines.

  • educational supervisor

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  • Competing interests None.

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