UK medical graduates’ preparedness for practice (P4P): A multi-site qualitative study

Charlotte Rees, Alison Bullock, Judith Cole, Gerard Gormley, Christopher Jefferies, Camille Kostov, Kathrin Kaufhold, Narcie Kelly, Karen Mattick, Grit Scheffler, Lynn Monrouxe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Introduction Previous research has demonstrated mixed findings in terms of graduates’ P4P in terms of their knowledge and skills, and interpersonal, systemic and technological aspects (Monrouxe et al. 2014). Few studies have included diverse stakeholders from multiple sites and employing longitudinal methods. We therefore aimed to understand the extent to which UK medical graduates are prepared for practice as Foundation doctors. Methods Cross-sectional qualitative narrative interview and longitudinal audio-diary (LAD) studies with participants from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Study 1 comprised 27 group and 84 individual interviews (n=185) with participants representing different stakeholders (F1s, fully registered trainees, clinical educators, undergraduate/postgraduate deans/foundation programme directors, other healthcare professionals, employers, policy makers, government representatives, and patient/public representatives). Study 2 comprised LADs with 26 F1s over 4-months. Results Participants found it hard initially to conceptualise the term ‘preparedness for practice’. We identified 2187 personal incident narratives (i.e. stories of P4P experiences) across our data: 506 (23%) were classed as ‘prepared’, 730 (33%) as ‘unprepared’ and 951 (44%) as ‘unspecified’. We identified factors that facilitated (e.g. supportive supervisors/colleagues, opportunities for shadowing) and hindered (e.g. unsupportive or disrespectful colleagues, poor organization, understaffing) transitions into and through the Foundation programme. The LADs suggested that trainees felt more confident and competent over time, but that such development was not always linear as challenging circumstances (e.g. new rotations) sometimes made trainees feel unprepared for situations where they had previously indicated preparedness. Conclusion Our findings add to the existing evidence on medical graduates’ P4P in the UK (e.g. Goldacre et al. 2008; Illing et al. 2013). Our findings support the role of assistantships and supportive supervisors for smoothing transitions from student to F1. Further longitudinal and action research studies are now needed to follow students through their final-year assistantships and into their F2 year.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2015
Event5th National Scottish Medical Education Conference - Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Apr 201528 Apr 2015


Conference5th National Scottish Medical Education Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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