2009 follow-ups: Update, January 2010: The surveys are now closed (although we will continue to process any which arrive). The graph (click on it to enlarge) shows the response rate. Overall 2,859 out of 4,453 doctors have replied (excluding questionnaires returned by the Post Office), making an overall rate of 64.2%, which is very good indeed. We are grateful to all of the many doctors who have helped in making the survey so successful. Analysing the data will take quite a while, but we hope to have something published within the next year or so.
Rationale for surveys (March 2009). Looking at the various studies carried out over the years it will be apparent that we have many measures on many different people at many different occasions over many years. It would however be very useful to us to have similar measures across as many studies as possible and therefore we are taking the opportunity in the current follow-up to give what is as far as possible the same questionnaire to all the doctors in our various studies. We have decided for the present to limit the follow-up to people in these studies:
Lest other groups feel left out, we had wondered about following them up but there are various practical and other problems, and therefore for the present we are concentrating on the groups above. Of course, some groups are completely anonymous so that follow-up is anyway not an option. For practical reasons we will also not be following up all of the groups at the same time.
Needless to say we have many hypotheses we want to test, and the questionnaires which will be coming in the post are aimed at a range of those questions. We are sure you will understand if at present we do not discuss the hypotheses any further, but please feel sure that you can trust us to publish as much as possible and as soon as possible. There are interesting and important questions that surveys such as these can answer about medical education and medical careers, and we hope that you will be able to help us in doing that.
We have wondered about trying to carry out the surveys electronically but the major practical problem is that we have no easy way of obtaining the email addresses of our participants, and that, coupled with the complexity of some of our questions, means that printed questionnaires is still the best option at present.
With many thanks to all of the participants in these and our other studies, for whose help we are continually grateful.
Note added January 2010. This survey is now closed, and data are being processed. The questionnaires used can be found on the pages for the individual cohorts (see above).