Personal Views

Plus ça change…

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 11 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:152
  1. Usman Azam, specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Warrington

    Over 10 years ago a disgruntled registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology wrote a personal view about training in the specialty (BMJ 1987;294:570). I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the intervening decade.

    I decided on my choice of career quite early on and have been working in it for five years. Like most of my peer group I have experienced anxiety and frustration, and uncertainty about career developments has not helped.

    As a preregistration house officer I remember when the ideas surrounding the Calman reforms were germinating. Consultant staff initially embraced with enthusiasm the formation of a real structured training programme for hospital specialties. “You've got it made—five years of higher training and you'll walk into a consultant post. Just go out there and get a national training number.” Ah! The NTN, that elusive number, the pursuit of which I spent many restless nights contemplating. How would I obtain that magical combination of numbers that would unlock the secrets of Pandora's box—namely, career satisfaction and job security?

    I progressed up the hierarchical ladder in my senior house officer years and sought …

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