Hospitals struggle to find enough junior doctors to fill rotas

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 29 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a3154
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

    Hospital trusts are struggling to fill doctors’ rotas because of a shortage of junior medical staff, and this is increasing pressures on remaining staff, consultants have warned.

    Several factors seem to have caused the problem, including fewer foreign doctors coming to the United Kingdom and less flexibility in the training system for junior doctors.

    Since the introduction of the modernising medical careers (MMC) scheme in 2005 many junior doctors join run-through training programmes, after two foundation years, which can last up to seven years. The result is that there are fewer doctors in short term posts, who can fill in gaps in the system.

    Although most trusts have created additional fixed term specialty training appointments (FTSAs) to provide places for doctors who could not get long term training posts, these have not proved popular. Senior doctors say that juniors do not …

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