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Changing perceptions: A multicentre survey of final-year medical students' and junior doctors' perceptions of diabetes and endocrinology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Amar Puttanna, Megan L. Byrne, Susannah N. Eyre-Brook, Mayuri Madhra, Munachiso Nwokolo, Anna Mitchell

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-593
Number of pages5
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
Issue number1140
Published1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Purpose of the study The National Health Service is experiencing a recruitment crisis across many medical specialties. Diabetes and endocrinology (D&E) is failing to fill training posts with only 77%, 83% and 73% of posts filled overall in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. Study design We surveyed 316 final-year medical students and undifferentiated trainees (from foundation programme doctors to core medical trainees), across the South Thames, Northern and West Midlands deaneries in England to gain an understanding of perceptions of the specialty. Results 9% of respondents were considering a career in D&E. Factors such as â € being the medical registrar' (27%), being a â € non-procedural specialty' (23%) and â € looking after majority of general medical admissions' (22%) were cited as the most common reasons why D&E is an unattractive career choice. 51% reported inadequate exposure to D&E. Factors that made respondents more likely to want to pursue a career in D&E included having undertaken a placement in the specialty and having exposure to outpatient clinics. Methods to improve awareness and uptake, such as increased teaching and clinical exposure, and the opportunity to attend taster events were frequently highlighted. Conclusions The results from this survey, the first of its kind on perceptions of D&E as a career pathway, reveal a worrying lack of interest in, and exposure to, D&E among current final-year medical students and undifferentiated trainees. These issues must be addressed in order to improve D&E recruitment rates.

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