Medical experts are urging a reform of the existing junior doctor training programme, claiming its deficiencies are 'putting patients at risk', reports.

A survey of 615 foundation level doctors, carried out by Oxford-based registrar Dr Ben Dean, revealed that the majority of respondents felt trainees did not receive sufficient training and that 'tick box' assessments do not adequately measure a junior doctor's true abilities. 

87 per cent of those polled, according to, believed that "incompetent trainees could obtain satisfactory results from workplace-based assessments" rather than real experience of surgery or accident and emergency, thus they were ill-equipped to deal with patients.

Dr Dean said: "The current regulation of medical training is producing professionals who invariably look competent on paper but are not necessarily competent and confident in reality." 

The survey highlights the importance of on the job training for junior doctors, perhaps with the addition of training courses to complement such learning; ensuring the basics are retained. An improved form of assessment would similarly be required.

Dr Dean continued: "The problem is, there's no evidence [the tick box forms] work. The paperwork has proliferated and makes doctors look competent, but in actual fact is this the case?"

A spokesman for the Department of Health defended its scheme, asserting: "We want to make sure that the best training is available for our NHS workforce so that they can deliver the best care to patients and the wider population."

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