Well prepared for work? Junior doctors' self-assessment after medical education

Elke B. Ochsmann*, Ulrike Zier, Hans Drexler, Klaus Schmid

*Corresponding author for this work
44 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Apart from objective exam results, the overall feeling of preparedness is important for a successful transition process from being a student to becoming a qualified doctor. This study examines the association between self-assessed deficits in medical skills and knowledge and the feeling of preparedness of junior doctors in order to determine which aspects of medical education need to be addressed in more detail in order to improve the quality of this transition phase and in order to increase patient safety. Methods. A cohort of 637 doctors with up to two years of clinical work experience was included in this analysis and was asked about the overall feeling of preparedness and self-assessed deficits with regard to clinical knowledge and skills. Three logistic regression models were used to identify medical skills which predict the feeling of preparedness. Results: All in all, about 60% of the participating doctors felt poorly prepared for post-graduate training. Self-assessed deficits in ECG interpretation (aOR: 4.39; 95% CI: 2.012-9.578), treatment and therapy planning (aOR: 3.42; 95% CI: 1.366-8.555), and intubation (aOR: 2.10; 95% CI: 1.092-4.049) were found to be independently associated with the overall feeling of preparedness in the final regression model. Conclusions: Many junior doctors in Germany felt inadequately prepared for being a doctor. With regard to the contents of medical curricula, our results show that more emphasis on ECG-interpretation, treatment and therapy planning and intubation is required to improve the feeling of preparedness of medical graduates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28.11.2011

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-10 Toxicology, Occupational Medicine, Clinical Chemistry
  • 110-04 Social Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology


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