A survey of education and research facilities for palliative medicine trainees in the United Kingdom

Stirling, L.C.; Pegrum, H.; George, R.
January 2000
Palliative Medicine;Jan2000, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p37
Academic Journal
In June 1997 a postal questionnaire was sent to all palliative medicine trainees in the United Kingdom to ascertain the resources available to facilitate education and research, and the experiences of trainees who had undertaken research. Questions posed related to protected study time, library facilities, information technology (IT) support, postgraduate educational activities, details of research projects undertaken, level of senior supervision and overall impressions. The response rate was 85%. Thirty-six per cent of respondents were undertaking postgraduate educational courses and 30% of those remaining planned to do so. Protected time for study was allocated to almost all trainees, but access to educational resources was more variable. The availability of several journals and of information technology support was lower than their perceived importance. Satisfaction scores for the availability of books covering areas related to clinical practice were high, but were lower for availability of the Internet and of books covering specific training issues. Ninety-one per cent of respondents had been involved in research/audit projects, two-thirds had published at least one article and half had presented an oral or written paper. Details of 162 projects were received, together with problems encountered. The results indicate that many of the foundations for specialist education in palliative medicine are in place and that trainees are highly motivated towards conducting research. The aspects in need of improvement on the educational side include IT facilities and the availability of specific speciality related journals. There is a need for more accessible supervision from senior colleagues and training in research methodology.


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