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The Best Training Programmes in London

Messly’s mission is to help doctors make evidence-based decisions about their careers.


For every doctor, choosing which specialty to do is one of the biggest, and hardest, decisions we make. Often this decision is based off hearsay, and snatched conversations from older peers, with very little evidence-based decision making in the process. This can inevitably lead to making the wrong choices. 


With applications for specialty training looming, in this blog we explore which London speciality programmes (excluding GP) have rated highest for overall satisfaction over the last two years, based on the ratings given by doctors for all specialties at Core and Specialty grade in the 2015 and 2016 GMC National Training Surveys.


Of course, this decision is nuanced and involves a number of personal factors, but we hope that this snapshot will provide an interesting and thought-provoking overview to kick start your research and analysis. We haven’t included the competition ratios but you can assume that there will be many more applicants than places available across all London specialty training programmes.


Here are the results of our number crunching:

Best Hospital Specialty Training Programmes in London
Notes: We have only included specialties which offered rotations at over 25 hospitals across London in 2015 and 2016. Other sites have been excluded. General Practice has also been excluded. Data is sourced from the GMC National Training Survey. Please head to to access the source data in full and read a full explanation of the methodology used by the GMC.


Key takeaways:


1) Ophthalmology has risen to top spot in 2016


Ophthalmology has risen from fourth place in 2015 to the top spot in 2016. Doctors also rate this specialty highly for the quality of clinical supervision and workload, so its an all round favourite. Bear in mind that competition places will be high for London as it has some of the world-class specialty hospitals such as Moorfields , but you’ll be getting some of the best training available nationally.


2) ROAD specialties reliably create the most satisfied trainees


Many of you will have heard of the ROAD Acronym for lifestyle specialities. Our data suggests that not only are they a great lifestyle choice, but their satisfaction ratings amongst doctors are also the highest, with Radiology and Anaesthetics rounding out the top three.


At the other end of the spectrum, Acute Medicine is a clear laggard with scores significantly below other specialties. Other medical specialties are also poorly rated amongst London trainees. This correlates with ratings at Foundation Programme level too. That’s not to say its not the right choice for you, but do your research into the specific hospital you are thinking of applying to and read reviews of doctors currently in these posts.


3)  This is only part of the picture – our Training Navigator will tell you more.


The figures in this blog are blended across all London regions, and there will be variation between different regions and different grades. Our Training Navigator will help you deep dive into the quality of training, clinical supervision and workload at specific rotations within these regions. These are the most comprehensive and up-to-date ratings for individual NHS hospital rotations, with five star ratings based on the results of the 2016 GMC National Training Survey.


Here are the rankings in full:

Learn More:

1) Read more about our mission to help doctors make evidence-based career choices.

2) Get started with our Training Navigator to dive deeper with into ratings across the country.

3) Have you worked at any of these hospitals? Leave a review of your rotation to help other doctors chose theirs.

4) Keep up-to-date with the latest evidence-based views on medical careers by following us on Facebook and Twitter

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