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Predictors of ophthalmology career success (POCS) study

Das, A; Smith, D; Mathew, RG; (2021) Predictors of ophthalmology career success (POCS) study. BMJ Open Ophthalmology , 6 (1) , Article e000735. 10.1136/bmjophth-2021-000735. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Ophthalmology is the busiest outpatient specialty with demand predicted to rise over 40% in the next 20 years. A significant increase in the number of trainee ophthalmologists is required to fill currently vacant consultant posts and meet the UK’s workforce demands by 2038. Our aim was to understand what determines success in ophthalmology training, in order to inform future ophthalmologists, refine recruitment and facilitate workforce planning. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This was a retrospective longitudinal cohort study using routinely collected data available from UK Medical Education Database (UKMED) (https://www.ukmed.ac.uk/). Data were analysed on 1350 candidates who had applied for ophthalmology specialty training (OST) between 2012 and 2018, as well as 495 candidates who had attempted Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) Part 1 between 2013 and 2018. Participants who had not obtained their primary medical qualification from the UK medical schools were excluded. Primary outcome measures included gaining a place on the OST programme and passing the FRCOphth Part 1 examination on first attempt. RESULTS: Higher education performance measure decile scores at medical school are strongly predictive in securing an OST post and passing the part 1 examination first time (p<0.001). Candidates who attempt FRCOphth Part 1 prior to their ST1 application are more likely to get a place on OST on first attempt. Socioeconomic factors, gender and ethnicity do not influence success in OST entry. Male trainees are more likely to pass FRCOphth Part 1 on their first attempt. CONCLUSION: This study is the first quantitative assessment of the factors that determine success in OST recruitment and ophthalmology postgraduate examinations in the UK. Similar studies should be undertaken in all other medical and surgical specialties to understand what factors predict success.

Type: Article
Title: Predictors of ophthalmology career success (POCS) study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjophth-2021-000735
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjophth-2021-000735
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132528
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