Relationships with surgeons in training
Trainee surgeons and other non-consultant grade staff who support surgical care can offer valuable insights when assessing a service.
Surgeons in training have worked in a variety of hospitals across a region and will be able to reflect on these experiences to form a clear perspective on the capabilities and areas for improvement of a service under review.
It should also be the case that if a service is working well a trainee surgeon would be keen to return to the unit later in their training or seek to gain a substantive consultant appointment. A well-functioning service will be organised around the needs of patients while providing trainees with high-quality and supportive training opportunities.
Evidence from our invited reviews demonstrates that where surgeons in training report a poor standard of teaching and learning, there is a strong possibility of issues with the delivery of safe surgical care. It is important to realise that where surgeons in training or other non-consultant grade clinical staff report poor quality interactions between those responsible for their training, this can also compromise safe surgical care.
All healthcare organisations should have well-structured processes for ensuring that the views of surgeons in training and non-consultant staff can be gathered, assessed and used to deliver tangible changes to the ways in which services are delivered.
It may be helpful to ask surgeons in training the following questions:
- Do you feel the care we deliver to patients is safe, effective, responsive, caring and well-managed?
- Do you think you have the appropriate facilities and resources to deliver good quality surgical care?
- How does the working environment in our hospital compare with others that you have experienced?
- Would you describe the interactions between the teams of consultant surgeons here as appropriate?
- How does the standard of teamwork between consultant surgeons here compare with other hospitals you have worked in?
- If you could make one practical change to improve this surgical service today, what would it be?
- Health Education England | Enhancing junior doctors' working lives
- Royal College of Surgeons | Trainees
- Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT)
- Royal College of Surgeons | Training and Assessment in the Clinical Environment
- Royal College of Surgeons | Training the Trainers: Developing Teaching Skills
- Royal College of Surgeons | Mentoring
- Royal College of Surgeons | Improving Surgical Training