Medical Council News


Medical Council Publishes Your Training Counts 2015 Report

Experiences of bullying and poor induction processes reaffirmed by trainees

Medical Council to start Safe Start Registration Support Programme

The Medical Council today (7th December 2015) published its Your Training Counts 2015 report. This report reflects the second year of data the Medical Council has collected from trainee doctors in order to gain a greater insight into their perceptions of the clinical learning environment.

The findings of the report include:

  • A slight increase in the perception of the quality of learning environments in 2015;
  • 9-in-10 trainees rated the quality of care to patients as ‘good or better’;
  • Trainees also rated ‘teamwork’ and ‘peer collaboration’ significantly more highly than in the previous year;
  • The lowest rated aspect of learning environments by trainees this year was ‘feedback’;
  • 30% of interns are still disagreeing, to some extent, that their previous medical education prepared them well for the intern year;
  • Induction and orientation were again rated very poorly by trainees with slight dis-improvements in 2015;
  • Bullying persists within the training environment in 2015;
  • 50% of trainees reported doctors as being the main sources of bullying, while 36% of trainees reported nurses and midwives as being the main sources of bullying they’ve experienced;
  • Almost 7-in-10 trainees who experienced bullying in their learning environment did not report their experience to anyone in authority;
  • Of those trainees that reported their experience of bullying to someone in authority, almost 40% felt no action was taken;
  • Trainees who gained their basic medical qualification outside Ireland rated learning environments significantly more highly than graduates of Irish medical schools;
  • Trainees who entered medical school directly from second level education rated their learning environments significantly more highly than graduate entry trainees;
  • Intern trainees rated the quality of learning environments significantly lower than all other trainees.


Speaking at the launch, President of the Medical Council Professor Freddie Wood said: “I am very pleased that we now have two years of consecutive data on trainees’ perceptions of the clinical environment as I genuinely believe these reports have the potential to bring about significant and positive changes for trainee doctors here in Ireland. We are continuing to implement our own actions within the parameters of our regulatory role, while sharing the findings and collaborating with our partner organisations in order to influence change and inform policy decisions.  We look forward to seeing improved findings in next year’s report.”


The Medical Council also announced today that on foot of the findings from Your Training Counts and the recent Listening to Complaints report, the Medical Council is to conduct a new research project to assess the education and training needs of medical graduates who are new to the practice of medicine in Ireland.


“The aim of this research is to speak directly to new and recent entrants to medical practice in Ireland to find out what education and training they would have benefitted from when they first arrived in our health system. This information will then go on to inform the design of a registration support programme to be delivered by the Medical Council for doctors entering the practice of medicine in Ireland for the first time which will be known as, Safe Start,” Professor Wood announced.


CEO of the Medical Council, Bill Prasifka said: “I am disappointed that the reported experiences of bullying by trainees is no better this year and that many seem to be receiving little or no feedback and have poor experiences of induction. These findings are worrying and need to be addressed as quickly as possible. I am fully aware that the issue of bullying cannot be dealt with overnight and that a cultural shift needs to occur in this instance.  However, an improved induction programme or the simple delivery of feedback is something that can in fact be achieved quickly.


“If trainees working in a clinical environment are feeling under prepared it is a patient safety issue and that is why we have decided to do all we can do within our regulatory role.  We will be working now with UCD on this new project to undertake research into doctors new to the practice of medicine in Ireland to inform what will become known as the Safe Start programme.  We will continue to work with our partner organisations in the health sector to ensure that further actions are implemented and I hope that by this time next year we will begin to see more positive findings coming through.”