Prepared for practice? a national survey of UK foundation doctors and their supervisors

Med Teach. 2015 Feb;37(2):181-8. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.947929. Epub 2014 Aug 26.


Background: Mandatory induction for foundation year 1 trainees (F1s) was introduced in 2012 to ease the transition from student to doctor. The aims of this national study were to assess anxiety levels and preparedness in the 2012 F1 cohort and whether these varied according to medical school of graduation and foundation school of practice.

Methods: Online surveys were completed anonymously and voluntarily by F1s and F1 supervisors from participating foundation schools. Questions assessed how prepared F1s were for practice and how well they coped with the transition from medical school. A validated screening tool was used to assess anxiety levels.

Results: 1829 F1s and 1145 supervisors participated. 27.8% of F1s screened positive for pathological anxiety. Increased time spent in a 'shadowing' type role during medical school and each additional day of induction reduced anxiety levels. How prepared F1s were for different aspects of their jobs varied according to medical and foundation school, from both the F1 and supervisor perspective.

Conclusions: How prepared F1s feel can vary according to the medical school of graduation and foundation school of practice. F1 anxiety may be reduced with a prolonged F1 induction programme and an extended shadowing period during the final year of medical school.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • United Kingdom