Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Briefings

Moving the point of GMC registration

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/sbmj.g4815 (Published 05 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4815
  1. Rhys Davies, foundation year 1 doctor
  1. 1Epsom Hospital

Moving GMC registration to the point of graduation may have profound and far reaching effects

Should doctors become fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) as soon as they graduate from medical school? That’s one of the more controversial proposals in the Shape of Training review, published in December 2013, with remarkably little fanfare.1 The report, by David Greenaway, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, looked into the state of postgraduate medical education in the United Kingdom and made recommendations on how it should be adapted to suit the changing health needs of the UK population.

Currently, medical students in their final year of study provisionally register with the GMC. They then go on to work as foundation year 1 (FY1) doctors with supervision and training. Providing they fulfil the raft of FY1 competences, their medical school will recommend them to the GMC for full registration at the end of that year. From foundation year 2 (FY2) onwards, they may work as fully fledged doctors.

This is a slightly odd arrangement. Although medical schools retain responsibility for their former medical students, they lack the ability to properly supervise their alumni in training once they are on the wards around the country. It is this discrepancy the Shape of Training review has sought to tackle. If registration were to be moved forward, full responsibility for junior doctors would lie solely with local education and training boards in England and postgraduate deaneries in the other home nations.

On the surface, this recommendation seems to make sense, offering a clean break between medical school and the next phase of a doctor’s training. However, while this is convenient for medical schools and the deaneries, it will have an impact on graduates’ careers, the future role of medical schools, and, perhaps most importantly, …

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