One-third of doctors completing specialist training in diabetes fail to secure a substantive consultant post: young Diabetologists' Forum Survey 2010

Clin Med (Lond). 2012 Jun;12(3):244-7. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.12-3-244.


Reports have highlighted a shortage of consultant diabetologist posts in the UK. The number of doctors completing specialist training in diabetes has increased in recent years, but little is known about their employment after they receive their certificate of completion of training. An online survey was sent to all doctors who completed specialist diabetes training from January 2008 to September 2010. Of the 95 eligible respondents, 69 (73%) completed the survey (61% men; median age 36 years). Forty-three (62%) respondents secured substantive NHS consultant posts, and of those who gave their job breakdown, 48/51 (94%) were contributing to specialist diabetes care. Five (7%) respondents held substantive academic positions, while 11 (16%) were locum consultants. Seven (9%) respondents worked abroad, with half of these attributing their emigration to lack of opportunities in the UK. When asked about alternative choices, 39% of respondents were likely to seek 'general physician' roles, which equalled the number who would consider emigrating. Overall, only two-thirds of doctors who complete specialist training in diabetes secure substantive NHS consultant positions, which suggests a failure in workforce planning and a lack of expansion of the number of consultant posts despite progression of the diabetes epidemic.

MeSH terms

  • Consultants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Education / organization & administration
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Employment
  • Endocrinology / education*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Job Application*
  • Medical Staff / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration*
  • State Medicine / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom