By the same authors

The socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of United Kingdom junior doctors in training across specialities.

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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Publication details

DatePublished - Dec 2015
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
Place of PublicationYork, UK
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameCHE Research Paper
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
No.119

Abstract

Objective: To analyse the distribution of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of medical trainees across different specialties in the UK. Design: Mixed logistic regression analysis of data from the National Training Survey 2013 to quantify evidence of systematic relationships between doctors’ characteristics and the specialty they are training in, controlling for the correlation between these characteristics. Setting: Data from the National Training Survey 2013, carried out by the General Medical Council. Participants: Postgraduate medical trainees. Main outcome measures: Odds ratios (calculated for both all trainees and a subsample of UK educated trainees) relating gender, age, ethnicity, place of studies, socioeconomic background and parental education to a trainee’s specialty. Results: There are systematic and substantial differences between specialties in respect of gender, ethnicity, age and socio-economic background. Being male, white British, from a better-off socioeconomic background, trained in a UK university or having parents who have tertiary education increases the chances of being in surgical specialties relative to general practice. Being male, nonwhite, mature, trained in an overseas university, from a better-off socio-economic background, or having parents who have tertiary education increases the chances of being in psychiatric specialties relative to general practice. Measured relative to general practice the gender gap is largest for surgical specialities, the ethnicity gap is greatest for acute care, emergency medicine and anaesthetics and the age-gap is large and positive for psychiatry and large and negative for acute care, emergency medicine and anesthetics. Conclusions: Differences in the characteristics of trainees will feed into the composition of the practicing profession. The persistent gender gap, the under-representation of those coming from the disadvantaged backgrounds and the inequity of educational background in some specialties will condition perceptions of the NHS and the medical profession. Our analysis contributes to a fuller understanding of the nature of these differences, which may be a matter for public concern and policy action. Remedial action if required will necessitate a better understanding of the processes of selection and self-selection into specialties that gives rise to these observed differences.

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