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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2017 Apr 20;8:293-297. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S134081. eCollection 2017.

What factors influence UK medical students' choice of foundation school?

Author information

1
Division of Surgery and Interventional science, University College London, London, UK.
2
Department of Urology, Charing Cross Hospital Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.
3
Academic Urology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
4
Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
5
Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.
6
Department of Urology, Chesterfield Royal Infirmary, Chesterfield, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We aimed to identify the factors influencing UK medical student applicants' choice of foundation school. We also explored the factors that doctors currently approaching the end of their 2-year program believe should be considered.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted during the 2013-2014 academic year. An online questionnaire was distributed to 2092 final-year medical students from nine UK medical schools and 84 foundation year-2 (FY2) doctors from eight foundation schools. Participants were asked to rank their top 3 from a list of 12 factors that could potentially influence choice of foundation school on a 5-point Likert scale. Collated categorical data from the two groups were compared using a chi-square test with Yates correction.

RESULTS:

Geographic location was overwhelmingly the most important factor for medical students and FY2 doctors with 97.2% and 98.8% in agreement, respectively. Social relationships played a pivotal role for medical student applicants. Clinical specialties within the rotations were of less importance to medical students, in comparison to location and social relationships. In contrast, FY2 doctors placed a significantly greater importance on the specialties undertaken in their 2-year training program, when compared to medical students (chi-square; p=0.0001).

CONCLUSION:

UK medical schools should make their foundation program applicants aware of the importance of choosing rotations based on specialties that will be undertaken. Individual foundation schools could provide a more favorable linked application system and greater choice and flexibility of specialties within their 2-year program, potentially making their institution more attractive to future applicants.

KEYWORDS:

UK postgraduate training; foundation school; location of training; social relationships

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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