Staff grade psychiatrists working in Scotland were surveyed by postal questionnaire in order to determine their demographic profile, career aspirations and experience of the grade.
A heterogeneous group of doctors was identified, from a variety of professional backgrounds, and with a range of ambitions. Respondents generally held a favourable view of the grade, but expressed concern over perceived lack of opportunities for training, education and career progression. This is despite considerable recent efforts by the College to include non-consultant career grades in its programme for Continuing Professional Development.
There remains scope for imaginative development of the grade. In particular, staff grade psychiatrists might benefit from a more individualised approach to, and support for, all areas of their professional development. Such ‘mentoring’ may be especially beneficial for staff grades in Scotland, for whom geographical, as well as professional isolation, can be problematic.
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