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2013–14 census (UK consultants and higher specialty trainees)

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This report summarises the findings of the 2013–14 census for the UK and assesses the implications for the medical profession and the NHS.

Some of the main findings of the 2013–14 census of consultant physicians of the UK:

  • geriatric medicine remains the largest specialty, followed by gastroenterology
  • 32% of all advertised hospital appointments were in acute internal medicine and geriatric medicine (however, 50% of such appointments went unfilled due to a shortage of applicants)
  • 36% of all appointments either did not appoint or were cancelled
  • appointment cancellations were mainly due to lack of applicants
  • more consultants participate in general internal medicine (GIM) and acute internal medicine: 63% are now involved
  • most consultant physicians are male, but younger physicians are more likely to be women
  • less-than-full-time working has risen again, and is more common in specialties with plannable hours
  • 68% of consultant physicians support 7-day working, given satisfactory support.
  • support for 7-day working is greatest in specialties that currently routinely work weekends.

Some of the main findings of the 2013–14 census of higher specialty trainees of the UK:

  • the number of higher specialty trainees (HSTs) in geriatric medicine fell despite geriatric medicine (and acute internal medicine), having more consultant posts advertised
  • most HSTs are women, and female trainees tend towards specialties with controllable hours / not dual-accrediting with GIM
  • male trainees are more likely to undertake training in GIM than female trainees
  • the average number of hours worked is at the upper limit stipulated by the European Working Time Directive
  • procedure-based specialties have issues balancing good specialty training with general medical training and experience
  • trainees say GIM time is mostly spent in service provision with far less in training
  • job satisfaction with general internal medicine has reduced, yet most HSTs have continued with their GIM training
  • most trainees in contrast reported high satisfaction with specialty training – 75% stated that they felt prepared for a consultant job in their specialty
  • nearly 39% of trainees would continue doing the acute medical take once they become consultants. Geography is the most decisive factor affecting job applications, followed by the amount of specialty time in their job contract.