By Dr. Jonathan Shurlock
On the first day of the BCS centenary conference, The BJCA team hosted a session focussing on the trainee experience, chaired by Dr Chris Allen (Immediate past-president of BJCA) and Dr Ashley Nisbet (TPD for Severn Cardiology). This year’s survey results were presented by incoming president Dr Christian Fielder Camm, which included 548 responses – roughly 55% of current cardiology trainees.
Nearly all respondents demonstrated procedural numbers below the targets set by their curriculum, across all sub-speciality procedures. As part of the response to this, Dr Camm described a plan for targeted training courses to allow competencies including CMR, nuclear medicine, Cardiac CT, and a structured BCS training day. A majority of respondents felt that they would need time post-CCT to complete the curriculum requirements for their training, and 80% felt that at least 1 additional year would be needed.
There was brief mention of ongoing disruption to training as a result of redeployment in response to COVID, with 45% of respondents being redeployed for a median of 4 months.
75% of respondents showed some agreement with the statement ‘I work in a safe environment’, however 20% showed some concern regarding a potential safety incident based on their current working conditions. 27% of respondents felt there would be potential negative consequences to themselves for raising safety concerns. 45% of respondents felt that there were clear resolution processes locally for addressing raised concerns.
Importantly, the ongoing issue of bullying and unprofessional behaviour that cardiology trainees are exposed to was highlighted. 16% of respondents reported being bullied in the 4 weeks prior to the survey. These behaviours were predominantly reported to occur in the cath lab, coronary care unit, and on the wards. Alarmingly, almost 70% of these behaviours were reported as being carried out by consultants.
Dr Camm highlighted the increasing rate of these behaviours in comparison to data from previous years and outlined their plans to tackle this issue. The BJCA have developed a UK wide online reporting form for unprofessional behaviour to allow real time reporting, data collecting, and targeted responses.
The presentation finished with awards for the best training providers as nominated by the survey respondents. Awards were given for the best Consultants providing training and divided by subspeciality:
- Overall: Dr Nick Newall, Arrow Park Hospital
- Intervention: Dr Katarzyna Dickenson, Conquest Hospital; Dr Sen Devadathan, Royal Cornwall Hospital
- EP: Dr John Paisley, University Hospital Southampton
- Imaging: Dr Jamal Khan, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire
- Heart failure: Dr Anik Appaji, Royal Stoke University Hospital; Dr Martin Thomas, St Bartholomew’s Hospital
- ACHD: Dr David Warriner, Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Awards were also given for best AHPs providing training:
- Radiographer: Ben Jackson, Northwick Park Hospital
- Physiologist: David Hatton, QEQM hospital; Stacy Cooper, Northumbria SEC Hospital; Stuart McNeill Northern Devon District Hospital
Dr Camm and the BJCA team have recently published work discussing the trends in responses to the BJCA survey in recent years, with a particular focus on the issue of bullying. See the full paper here: https://heart.bmj.com/content/108/3/212