For healthcare professionals only

Research Article

Specialist registration: a critical look at the proposals of the Merrison report.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 07 February 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:328
  1. M D Vickers


    In the general euphoria over the many views in the Merrison Report that the profession welcomed too little attention has been paid to what has been said about specialist registration. The report contains several basic confusions and a serious misunderstanding of the nature of specialist medical training and practice. It makes several cardinal errors in thinking that some notorious problems related to NHS staffing are also related to a lack of an effective specialist register, and it shows how the creation of such a register would largely destroy the authority of the colleges and faculties. Nowhere in the report is there any convincing argument to show that specialist registration would confer advantages sufficient to outweigh the disadvantages. To let specialist registration in the UK slip in on the irrelevant coat tails of EEC requirements would be a grave dereliction of the long-term interests of medical practice and patient care. The General Medical Council is holding a conference in which this topic is to be discussed on 24 February 1976 and it is still not too late for the profession to think again on this topic.