Background/introduction Applications for higher speciality training in genitourinary medicine (GUM) have decreased dramatically in recent years leaving a number of unfilled posts. The reasons for this are unknown.
Methods We produced an anonymous electronic survey for CMTs which was distributed to all deaneries in the UK. Survey questions included the advantages/disadvantages of a career in GUM and main barriers to application. A specific question was asked regarding the impact that the Shape of Training review (SOT) would have on the perceived attractiveness of a career in GUM.
Results 100 CMTs responded, 51 CT1s and 49 CT2s. 35/100 were considering or applying for GUM and 17/100 may be. 61/100 gave reasons as to why they were not applying: 28% (17/61) interested in another speciality, 33% (20/61) no previous exposure, 21% (13/61) no interest, 20% (12/61) too specialist, and 3% (2/61) were uncertain of speciality future. The main advantage of GUM was an attractive work/life balance 44% (32/73). When specifically asked about the SOT implementation and likelihood of applying for GUM, 94/100 responded. 27% (25/94) were more likely to apply and for 36% (34/94) it made no difference. However of those applying/considering or maybe considering GUM (n = 52); 31% (16/52) would be less likely to apply and 27% (14/52) would apply but not if SOT is implemented.
Discussion/conclusion This survey demonstrates that a significant proportion of CMTs are not considering GUM due to lack of exposure to the specialty. The SOT review is likely to significantly impact on GUM training, possibly deterring trainees currently considering applying but potentially also attracting other trainees who may not previously have considered it.
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