An evaluation of the current patterns and practices of educational supervision in postgraduate medical education in the UK
- Priyank Patel
- Perspectives on medical education
Clinical supervision is a vital part of postgraduate medical education. Without it, trainees may not learn effectively from their experiences; this may lead to acceptance by registrars and junior doctors of lower standards of care. Currently, supervision is provided by consultants to registrars and junior doctors, and by registrars to junior doctors. Evidence suggests that the clinical supervision provided to postgraduate doctors is inadequate. Registrars and juniors doctors have the right to expect supervision in the workplace. Impediments to the provision of clinical supervision include competing demands of hospital service provision on trainees and supervisors, lack of clarity of job descriptions, private versus public commitments of supervisors and lack of interest. Supervisors should be trained in the process of supervision and provided with the time and resources to conduct it. Those being supervised should be provided with clear expectations of the process. We need to create and develop systems, environments and cultures that support high standards of conduct and effective clinical supervision. These systems must ensure the right to supervision, feedback, support, decent working conditions and respect for both trainees and their supervisors.