Education and training

Diabetes and endocrinology physicians treat complex issues in patients with diabetes and endocrine disorders and their associated multimorbidities. There are regional variations in recruitment for training posts with a significant number remaining unfilled, especially in north of England. The number of new certificates of completion of training issued each year is approximately 60 and has remained stable for some years. The number of consultants retiring is also stable, but the number of new consultant posts created has steadily fallen and has been reported as the lowest of all the specialties (RCP workforce data). This trend is extremely worrying in the face of the increase in workload of the specialty due to the rise in diabetes prevalence in the UK.

The training of consultants is regulated by the Specialty Advisory Committee for Diabetes and Endocrinology within the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board. The committee is a collaboration between training and education experts within the colleges, the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), Diabetes UK and the Society for Endocrinology (SfE). The curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure it will lead to the skills development required to deliver diabetes and endocrine services. The training programmes are monitored by Health Education England (HEE) to ensure that they provide appropriate learning environments.

Ongoing education and training and CPD are provided extensively in the field of diabetes and endocrinology. ABCD holds educational meetings twice yearly, and these are open to trainees. The SfE has an annual conference addressing all aspects of endocrine practice and science, as well as a number of educational meetings annually, especially geared to trainees and younger consultants. In particular, the SfE hosts an annual 3-day residential training programme ‘Clinical Update in Endocrinology’, which covers the training curriculum over a 3-year rolling programme. There are also numerous opportunities to attend international meetings; especially those of the European Society of Endocrinology, the American Endocrine Society, and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association, and International Diabetes Federation. All the societies in UK and internationally have extensive educational material available through their websites as well as holding an annual conference and other meetings. Education is also significantly supported through industry grants, including product support.

Uniquely, this medical specialty also offers the ABCD new consultant diabetologist mentorship programme for newly appointed consultants in diabetes and endocrinology.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has produced a cost of training document setting out the mandatory costs of training involved in college enrolment fees, examination costs and GMC fees. Published in October 2017, it has been compiled to help pre-specialty doctors make fully informed career selections, with a clear understanding of the mandatory costs of their future training pathway.