UCL News


Should NHS training posts be reserved for UK graduates?

21 September 2007


bmj.com/" target="_self">British Medical Journal

Professor Edward Bryne, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Biomedical Science, argued that society has a moral obligation to ensure that young people who successfully complete a demanding primary medical course have the opportunity to complete their training and enter medical practice in this week's British Medical Journal (BMJ) debate - a timely one, after many young doctors failed to get NHS jobs this summer.

Professor Bryne acknowledges that we live in a global world and free exchange of expertise is clearly desirable. However, this needs to be balanced against the training needs of UK graduates. One possible solution, he argues, would be to encourage a period of work in other countries towards the end of specialty or family medicine training.

Medical training in the UK is among the best in the world and it is appropriate that a country with the wealth and stature of the United Kingdom cover its medical workforce needs without drawing doctors from less well-advantaged countries in Europe or elsewhere, he writes.

If the UK can contribute a relatively small number of fully trained doctors to work in other countries that would be a useful contribution to international health. But, he argues, a failure to provide training opportunities for the great majority of UK graduates and enable them to enter practice would represent a waste of human potential and a failure of care for young doctors.

Arguing against Professor Byrne was Edwin Borman, Consultant Anaesthetist at Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Chairman of the BMA's International Committee, who believes restricting access would damage the profession.

To find out more about the BMJ, use the link at the top of the article.