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Your Training Counts - Spotlight on trainee career and retention intentions

Your Training Counts, the annual national trainee experience survey, is designed and delivered by the Medical Council in order to inform and support the continuous improvement of the quality of postgraduate medical training in Ireland.

This Your Training Counts report focuses on trainee retention and career intentions. Follow the survey on Twitter.

58%

of trainees see themselves practising in Ireland for the foreseeable future

1 in 5

trainees intend to either definitely not, or probably not practise medicine in Ireland in the foreseeable future

27%

Intern trainees were most likely to say they did not intend to practice in Ireland

89%

of trainees were sure about the specialty in which they wanted to practise for their long term career

35-39

the age group most likely to be sure about the specialty they wished to work in for their long term career

7% 

of trainees were interested in a move into a different specialty area 

More Information

Key Points
  • In 2014, Your Training Counts invited trainees to share views on their training experience and their thoughts on career and retention intentions;
  • In 2015 we asked trainees the same items (to help track attitudes longitudinally) and added ten new questions on migration to get more insight into the data;
  • Almost 800 trainees answered items on career and retention intentions in 2015; and,
  • This spotlight describes those responses and highlights significant associations between trainees’ views on career and retention intentions with other variables contained in Your Training Counts (such as gender, health, wellbeing, quality of learning environments etc.).
Trainee Career Intentions
  • The majority of trainees (89%) were sure about the specialty in which they wanted to practice for their long-term career;
  • The perceived quality of learning environments, trainees’ age, stage of training, wellbeing, and quality of life were significantly associated with how sure trainees felt about being in the right long-term specialty for their career;
  • 7% of trainees were interested in a move into a specialty area that was significantly different to the one in which they were currently training;
  • The three most preferred specialties, in which trainees wanted a long-term career, were General Practice (23%), Anaesthesia (11%), and Psychiatry (7%);
  • Trainees in Medical (16%) and Surgical (13%) programmes, were most likely to express an interest in changing specialty areas; and,
  • Ophthalmology, Occupational Medicine and General Practice had the highest deficits in terms of matching trainee preference for future careers to current workforce levels.
Retention Intentions 
  • 58% of trainees see themselves practising in Ireland for the foreseeable future;
  • 20% of trainees intend to definitely not (7%), or probably not (13%), practise medicine in Ireland for the foreseeable future;
  • Intern trainees were most likely to say they did not intend to practise in Ireland for the foreseeable future (27%);
  • The 3 largest influences on trainee intent to leave medical practice in Ireland were, understaffing in the workplace (82%), carrying out too many non-core tasks (75%), and limited career progression opportunities (72%);
  • Trainees who intended to practise in Ireland for the foreseeable future rated their learning environments more highly, had better wellbeing, better quality of life and better health than trainees who did not;
  • Trainees who were bullied during training were more likely than those who were not to say they were leaving medical practice in Ireland;
  • The UK (30%), Australia (21%), and Canada (21%) and were the most frequently mentioned destinations for trainees with intentions to practise elsewhere;
  • 44% of trainees who intended to work outside of Ireland said they would move within the next two years;
  • 49% of trainees who intended to practise outside Ireland said it was likely they would return to Ireland in the future; and,
  • 3.4% of trainees intended to leave medicine completely.
View Previous Your Training Counts Reports