Intended for healthcare professionals


Trainees and covid-19: your questions answered

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 13 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1059

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  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Will my training be disrupted?

In a joint statement, UK training bodies and the General Medical Council have said that there will be increased requirements for trainees and trainers to support the management of acutely unwell patients.1 “This might result in disruption or cancellation of training activities and trainees being directed to alternative tasks and/or locations to support the covid-19 response,” it said. “This could mean trainees in non-acute areas being asked to support urgent and unplanned care, such as medical admissions and the subsequent management of those patients, but may also in exceptional circumstances include providing support to clinical teams in other disciplines.”

What if I fail to meet my training requirements due to the disruption?

The training bodies have recognised that this might happen. Their statement says that “the statutory education bodies together with the GMC and AoMRC [Academy of Medical Royal Colleges] are determined to ensure the longer term needs of doctors in training are not compromised.”

Will my exams be cancelled?

So far, some royal colleges have taken the decision to cancel their exams.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) announced on 12 March that six MRCP (UK) PACES exams had been cancelled due to growing concerns about the continuing outbreak of covid-19. These exams were due to take place in Dudley, UK, as well as overseas.2 The RCP said, “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this might …

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