The future: Trainees and the Shape of Training

22 March 2013

Prof Paul Knight is President of the BGS and is Director of Medical Education and Consultant Physician at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. Difficulties in the running of the Specialty Certificate Examination centres by Pearson Vue on behalf of the Federation of Royal Colleges and ourselves have been previously documented in the BGS Newsletter. Although we have had useful discussion with the MRCP (UK) central office which runs the exam, we are still uncertain about the quality metrics and performance measures that govern the contractual relationship between MRCP (UK) and Pearson Vue. The Trustee Board believe that this is unsatisfactory and have communicated that view to the Colleges. I hope that we will be able to get a negotiated settlement that will allow us to reassure members that everything reasonable is being done to ensure that previous difficulties are never repeated. The Shape of Training Review is being led by David Greenaway, an economist by background and the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham. The call for written evidence ended on 8th February and in our reply we emphasised the role of geriatricians and the need for geriatric medicine training more generally across undergraduate and postgraduate curricula to cope with an increasingly multi-morbid population. This has some resonance with replies from the Royal College of Physicians of London and others who see the possibility of geriatric medicine training being an essential component of core medical training. I was delighted to be invited to speak at the recent Trainees’ meeting in Birmingham. The meeting was very well attended with about 150 trainees participating in lectures, mock consultant interviews and Specialty Certificate Examinations. The meeting was a great success and congratulations to the organisers. It would appear that the general  enthusiasm for this event is building up somewhat of a waiting list of people wanting to host it in future years. The Trainee group were very kind in giving me a topic that was suitably broad, “The Future of Geriatric Medicine”. The answer is simple of course. They (the Trainees) are the future.