How prepared are UK medical graduates for practice? A rapid review of the literature 2009-2014.
BMJ Publishing Group
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OBJECTIVE: To understand how prepared UK medical graduates are for practice and the effectiveness of workplace transition interventions. DESIGN: A rapid review of the literature (registration #CRD42013005305). DATA SOURCES: Nine major databases (and key websites) were searched in two timeframes (July-September 2013; updated May-June 2014): CINAHL, Embase, Educational Resources Information Centre, Health Management Information Consortium, MEDLINE, MEDLINE in Process, PsycINFO, Scopus and Web of Knowledge. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Primary research or studies reporting UK medical graduates' preparedness between 2009 and 2014: manuscripts in English; all study types; participants who are final-year medical students, medical graduates, clinical educators, patients or NHS employers and all outcome measures. DATA EXTRACTION: At time 1, three researchers screened manuscripts (for duplicates, exclusion/inclusion criteria and quality). Remaining 81 manuscripts were coded. At time 2, one researcher repeated the process for 2013-2014 (adding six manuscripts). Data were analysed using a narrative synthesis and mapped against Tomorrow's Doctors (2009) graduate outcomes. RESULTS: Most studies comprised junior doctors' self-reports (65/87, 75%), few defined preparedness and a programmatic approach was lacking. Six themes were highlighted: individual skills/knowledge, interactional competence, systemic/technological competence, personal preparedness, demographic factors and transitional interventions. Graduates appear prepared for history taking, physical examinations and some clinical skills, but unprepared for other aspects, including prescribing, clinical reasoning/diagnoses, emergency management, multidisciplinary team-working, handover, error/safety incidents, understanding ethical/legal issues and ward environment familiarity. Shadowing and induction smooth transition into practice, but there is a paucity of evidence around assistantship efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: Educational interventions are needed to address areas of unpreparedness (eg, multidisciplinary team-working, prescribing and clinical reasoning). Future research in areas we are unsure about should adopt a programmatic and rigorous approach, with clear definitions of preparedness, multiple stakeholder perspectives along with multisite and longitudinal research designs to achieve a joined-up, systematic, approach to understanding future educational requirements for junior doctors.
This research was commissioned and funded by the General Medical Council who gave feedback on clarity and approved the manuscript for publication
Vol. 7, No. 1, Article no. e013656
Place of publication