Aim: To develop an education and assessment framework for the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2).
Methods: A total of 23 PRHOs were recruited to the F2 pilot in August 2003. The training posts included a variety of specialties at 2 hospital trusts plus primary care. Trainee expectations and satisfaction were evaluated using questionnaires administered before and at the end of the pilot. At the end of the pilot, 10 trainees participated in a focus group and 19 trainers participated in a semistructured telephone interview.
Results: The majority of trainees (78%) felt that their expectations of the F2 pilot were met and all felt that they had improved their generic skills. Attendance at the generic education programme was 95%. The majority of trainees found the assessment framework useful. The percentage of undecided trainees in terms of career aspirations dropped from 48% to 13%. Trainees valued the breadth of experience provide by the year and the support provided by the programme directors and each other. A need for better communication, administrative support and time for assessment was highlighted by the trainers.
Conclusions: Early, focused education on generic skills will benefit both doctors and their patients. More varied career experience will help to ensure that doctors make appropriate and timely career decisions. Pilots are identifying good practice and areas that need improvement.