It’s just three weeks since the first batch was sent out, and those who responded to that will be getting the link to the second questionnaire in the next few days. But if you’ve not yet completed the first questionnaire, or indeed nor signed up, there is still plenty of time.
Since the last post, we’ve been busy sending out the first questionnaire link as people continue to sign up. We’ve also been sending out reminders in case people have missed the first email link – the intention isn’t to hassle, we know how easy it is for emails to get buried!
In this post, we’re going to explain a little about the design of the study and the methods we’re using.
The overall aim of the study is to examine the experience of all medical graduates in 2020. The circumstances of graduating and starting work during and after the peak of the pandemic in the UK are unusual, whether people are starting F1 in August as they would have expected, or started an FiY1 post as early as April. We recognise though that those in FiY1 posts have the additional novelty of working in what is essentially a brand new job role.
The questionnaire study therefore has two elements – a longitudinal examination of the experience of FiY1 as people progress through it, and a comparison of how those who have done an FiY1 post, and those who have not, feel at the start of F1. (Later in the year we will be interviewing some respondents to hear in more detail their reflections on the experience of starting work in these circumstances).
Work and wellbeing
We have described the study as being about the ‘work and wellbeing’ of newly qualified doctors.
The questionnaire people are completing at the moment asks about the work people are doing using items largely derived from the GMC’s Outcomes for Graduates document. These questions are not to gauge competence or confidence, but to establish a picture of what FiY1s are doing in these new roles. Other questions ask about where people are working, and their exposure to different types of clinical uncertainty, and how ‘tolerant’ they are of uncertainty.
The ‘wellbeing’ items are derived from validated scales in the literature. We will talk about those in more detail in later posts, but they all provide measures of different facets of how people are feeling about themselves and their work. They are not clinical tools, and do not make any inferences about mental health, but provide a means of associating emotional wellbeing and other factors.
Our analysis of these questionnaires will consider how these wellbeing measures vary with different clinical experiences, and with demographic variables such as gender and age. As we collect longitudinal data in coming weeks, we will see if these measures change over time, and whether this is affected by changes in clinical work.