The Cost of Surgical Training
Many thanks to those of you who completed the “Cost of Surgical Training” survey distributed to ASiT members. ASiT has previously published work estimating the cost of surgical training and has entered into the debate over who should pay and how much. ASiT has also produced a position statement on the cost of surgical training, published in May 2007, which can be downloaded below.
There are numerous challenges facing the funding of postgraduate medical education and there has been no debate as to who ought to contribute and almost no data on funding in the public domain. The covert shift of training costs from central government to the individual needs to stop until it has been adequately debated. Surgical trainees require a coherent funding policy for PME that is clear, equitable and legal. We must consider whether expensive surgical training is discouraging good trainees, possibly from poorer backgrounds.
Despite ASiT highlighting the rising costs of training, a fee to support the administration of training by the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST) was introduced a little less than three years ago and has been capped until a review of the JCST is completed (estimated Summer 2012). ASiT has consistently opposed the introduction of a fee for training. It has always been unpopular amongst trainees and also with some in high office. There were still no long term published plans for the future of the fee.
ASiT has recently undertaken a survey of our members investigating the costs of surgical training.Responses from all surgical specialties, all grades and all regions were received. Initial analysis reveals the results are far from unexpected; many trainees are graduating in significant debt and continuing to fund much of their training.
This data is vital in encouraging debate on how high-quality surgical training is funded without discriminating against those who are not independently wealthy.
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Added on: 13th February 2011