Feature

GMC fires warning shot to protect doctors’ training

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j532 (Published 01 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j532
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}bmj.com

The GMC’s new chief executive, Charlie Massey, tells Abi Rimmer about his organisation’s role in standing up for junior doctors and his ambitions in his new post

Within a month of starting his new post Charlie Massey was reminding NHS trusts of their obligations to support junior doctors with their training and development.

In November 2016, when Massey took on the role of chief executive at the General Medical Council, the organisation published the findings of its annual national training survey. The results showed that increasingly heavy workloads were eroding the time that doctors had available for training.1 In response to the findings Massey wrote to employers to remind them of their obligations to ensure that doctors’ training was protected.

It was a move he describes as “basically firing a shot across employers’ bows to protect training time, to protect trainees.” During a period of increasing pressure on the health service, Massey is clear that, though one of the GMC’s key responsibilities is to protect patients, it must at the same time support doctors. And he adds, “We also need to support employers. As well as firing a shot across their bows, we need to support them where things aren’t working.”

Forgotten tribe

Massey says that, in times of strain, it is …

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