Views And Reviews

The preregistration alternative

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6936.1109 (Published 23 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1109
  1. C Illingworth

    I was told that I was only “a clerking machine.” The comment was meant to reassure me that as a new junior house physician responsibility for patient care did not rest on my shoulders alone. Far from finding the comment reassuring I found it devaluing. It was an underestimation of the reality and highly ironical in the face of current General Medical Council recommendations on the educational content of the preregistration year.

    After the euphoria of qualifying as a doctor, my first day as a house officer had brought me crashing down from cloud nine. I was the unfortunate house physician on take holding the crash bleep; but I was worried about where to run to if it went off. The introductory talk for new house officers came on the second day - a whole day too late. Some of the anxiety I had experienced would have dissipated if there had been a proper induction, including a tour of the hospital, before the job started.

    Our formal medical education took the form of a series of weekly one hour seminars, which were of a good quality and relevant to managing several medical conditions seen daily on the wards. But effective education calls for more than quality tuition; it requires receptive and undistracted pupillage. This was impossible as we were continually being bleeped away …

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