Junior doctors continue to choose psychiatry in Wales

Wales news
16 July 2024
The number of junior doctors choosing to take up psychiatry in Wales, remains at an all-time high.

Latest figures from Health Education England reveal a 100% fill rate, with 25 doctors accepting 25 available places to specialise in mental health.

In the last three years, the fill rate for psychiatrists has stood at 100% - a huge shift from only 33% in 2017 and 59% in 2018.

Alongside the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Choose Psychiatry campaign, the profession has also benefited from the Welsh Government’s Train, Work, Live recruitment drive.

The scheme offers bursaries for exams and training and supports a long-term strategy for health and social services across Wales.  

Dr Maria Atkins, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, said:

“Wales continues to have one of the highest fill rates of psychiatry training across the UK and this is great news for our specialist mental health services and our patients.

“Our Choose Psychiatry scheme as well as the Train, Work, Live programme has helped enormously in showcasing psychiatry as a very rewarding profession.

“We must continue to do all we can to support both trainees and their trainers to achieve excellence in their work and promote psychiatry as a positive career choice.”

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, said:

“Since 2017 core psychiatry training has been a key focus for the Train Work Live campaign, with incentives including payment to cover the cost of sitting MRCPsych membership exams.

“The rise in the number of people training in this field shows that the campaign has consistently helped attract people to Wales.

“As a government we are committed to encouraging more people to enjoy a successful NHS Wales career and build on the success of our Train Work Live campaign.”

Paul Emmerson, consultant psychiatrist and head of school at RCPsych in Wales, added:

“The success of recruitment over the past few years means that we now have over 100 doctors at various stages of psychiatric training in Wales.

“It is our job to make sure that they receive the best training possible and hopefully remain in Wales for the long term.”

After medical school, trainees undergo a two-year foundation training programme to bridge the gap between medical school and further specialist training. After Foundation School, junior doctors choose to follow either General or Specialist medicine.

The six-year specialist psychiatry training programme is the final step in the journey to become a consultant psychiatrist – the most senior doctor specialising in mental health. 

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