Foundation rotations in medical training: is it love at first sight?

Postgrad Med J. 2021 May 26;postgradmedj-2021-140198. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2021-140198. Online ahead of print.


Purpose of study: Factors influencing physician specialty choice is a prominent topic given the recruitment challenges faced by various specialties. We aimed to assess whether specialty exposure in the first foundation year was a positive predictive factor for permanent career choice.

Study design: A questionnaire-based study was distributed online using a survey tool. Questions recorded the foundation rotations of participants as well as their chosen medical specialty.

Results: 1181 responses were included in the analysis. 23% of respondents had undertaken a Foundation Year 1 (F1) rotation in their career specialty. Having undertaken a foundation rotation in anaesthetics, cardiology, emergency medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, genito-urinary medicine, intensive care, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, paediatrics, palliative care, psychiatry, radiology, respiratory and rheumatology was found to be statistically significantly linked to choosing that specialty as a career (p<0.01). There was a significant correlation between the second foundation rotation and career choice (p=0.02).

Conclusions: For many specialties, direct experience within foundation training has a positive effect on later career choice.

Keywords: education & training (see medical education & training); medical education & training.