Letters

Tired surgical trainees

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7346.1154/b (Published 11 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1154

Junior doctors are not alone in getting tired: consultants do too

  1. Peter A Millner (Peter.Millner@leedsth.nhs.uk), consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon
  1. St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF
  2. Bournemouth Hospital NHS Trust, Bournemouth BH7 7DW
  3. Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD

    EDITOR—As one of the consultants who works with Jeffers and Keys, I confirm their statements about the intensity of their work and I echo their concerns.1

    My unit is one of several in the United Kingdom that provides a consultant led, consultant delivered trauma service. This has arisen through a belief that involvement of senior staff leads to better outcomes for patients, coupled with official strictures limiting the extent of unsupervised trainee activity. As my unit is a tertiary referral centre for trauma, most emergency cases require lengthy and complex surgical intervention, mandating consultant input. The onerous hours worked by our trainees are usually shared by their supervising consultants.

    Some important differences exist between the trainees and their consultant colleagues. There are no rest …

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