RCSEd Responds to GMC's National Training Survey Results

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17 Jul 2023

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is gravely concerned, but regrettably not surprised, by the findings of the GMC’s National Training Survey with regards to poor and discriminatory behaviour experienced by surgical trainees.

RCSEd President Professor Rowan Parks commented:

We at RCSEd have a long track record of addressing bullying, undermining and other poor behaviours perpetrated by a small minority of people within the surgical team, such as our long-running ‘Lets Remove It’ campaign. This report however highlights the scale of the problem faced by our trainees and others, and how far behind our colleagues in surgery are to other specialties and the wider society. We are particularly alarmed that one in ten surgical trainees report being the subject of unwanted sexual comments or advances in the workplace, something which is utterly unacceptable.

We do welcome the inclusion of these questions in the GMC’s National Training Survey, because gathering data on this is the first step to addressing it. We would like to thank those who responded to the survey for having the courage to respond with their experiences.

Culture change is always a long and difficult process, and in this instance it is also long-overdue. Surgery as a profession must move towards reducing and eradicating bullying, undermining, micro-aggressions and sexual comments or advances within the surgical team and more widely.

A majority of trainees do find their experiences are positive, leading not only to a happier workforce but also to better patient outcomes. We as a College will continue to strive to make that the experience of all our trainees.


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was founded in 1505.It is the oldest Surgical College in the world with just over 31,000 members in 100 countries, almost half of whom are overseas, touching every stage of the career path from medical student to consultant. We are a family of Surgeons, Dental Surgeons and members of the Surgical and Dental teams who put Patient Safety at the heart of everything they do. Our high quality education and examinations ensure that standards are upheld across all specialities and in all countries.

With our interest in professional standards, the College’s primary role – and the main concern of our Fellows and Members – is to ensure the safety of our patients and provide them with the best possible care. We do this by championing the highest standards of surgical and dental practice; through our provision of courses and educational programmes, training, examinations, and Continuous Professional Development; our liaison with external medical bodies; and by influencing healthcare policy across the UK.

Find RCSEd here www.rcsed.ac.uk, on Twitter www.twitter.com/RCSEd, on Facebook www.facebook.com/rcsed and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/RCSEd/

Issued by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. For further information, please contact comms@rcsed.ac.uk

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