Project title

A cross-sectional study of career readiness in UK medical students and how we can improve career readiness




Working as a competent and fulfilled doctor requires more than just clinical knowledge. There is insufficient space in the medical curriculum to adequately support career development for future doctors, so the primary focus of universities is to produce clinically competent and safe doctors.

Research suggests that better-prepared students will understand the requirements for a medical career, develop a strong medical portfolio, and lead to better retention rates in the profession. One promising way to address these issues is through adequate career development. Students must be aware of the importance of career planning. They should be supported with the necessary resources and be able to effectively employ career development strategies. This is even more crucial in a world where protean or boundary-less careers are becoming the norm, and work-life balance impact on wellbeing is becoming increasingly essential.


The project will conduct a national study of medical students using an established and psychometrically robust online ‘XTRA inventory’ to assess their career readiness. Quantitative and thematic analysis will be used to identify themes in the responses.


This study will use the XTRA inventory to assess career readiness among medical students from diverse backgrounds. It is anticipated that the findings will inform future educational curriculum creators and leaders, enabling them to shape medical education in a way that offers a broader range of knowledge and better prepares students of all backgrounds for their careers.