The General Medical Council (GMC) has published an insight paper on the role and contribution of specialty and associate specialists (SAS) and locally employed doctors (LEDs).

The insight paper concluded that specialty and associate specialists and locally employed doctors make up a sizeable proportion of the medical profession in the UK numbering 45,000.

Key finding of the insight paper included:

  • An increasing number of doctors working in these roles are female UK graduates.
  • A greater proportion of SAS doctors and LEDs are aged under 30.
  • Doctors in these roles receive fewer complaints than specialists and GPs – 6%, compared to 12% and 18% respectively.

The insight paper shows that specialty and associate specialists and locally employed doctors are more likely to be overseas graduates, particularly from BME backgrounds, and that there are a growing number of female UK graduates working as SAS doctors.

The GMC’s initial discussions with some SAS doctors also highlighted that they may experience high levels of bullying and undermining, and they often feel they are marginalised and undervalued.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, said:

“These doctors make a hugely valuable contribution to UK health services, and their numbers are increasing. Yet we understand less about their experiences compared to other parts of the medical workforce.”

The GMC is to survey all specialty and associate specialist employed doctors for the first time this Spring so they can share information about their working practices, opportunities for career development and the support they receive in the workplace.

Charlie Massey continued:

“This survey will be an opportunity for them to tell us about their careers, both good and bad, and the support they can access. We want as many doctors as possible to take part in this survey, so it will give us a robust and rich source of data that will aid our understanding and help us, and others, to give them the support they need.”

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals.  I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:

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