Significant variation in postgraduate medical training across Europe


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new report which examined how postgraduate training (PGT) is currently organised, regulated and delivered for doctors in European countries has identified significant variations. 

Twenty-two member countries of the European Junior Doctors (EJD) Association were surveyed on areas such as application to residency programmes, regulation of number of PGT posts and organisation of training. 

The findings showed that residency training is time-based in approximately half of countries while it is entirely competency-based in two countries. 

While the majority of countries reported there are assessments during residency programmes, four countries do not carry out assessment. 

Junior doctors share legal responsibility for clinical decisions with their supervisors in 60 per cent of countries, while in 18 per cent of countries the supervisor has full legal responsibility for the junior doctor’s decisions throughout residency training. 

While residents in a third of countries reported being able to change specialties easily, in other countries options are more limited. In Italy, it is not possible to change specialty during residency. 

The authors said continued focus is needed on the quality of residency programmes and the quality of evaluation in order to see continuing improvements in the quality of postgraduate training across European countries in the future. 

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