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Training senior house officers

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:692

The lost tribes are still in the wilderness-and breeding

  1. Evan Harris, Honorary registrara,
  2. Paula Ferreira, Research associateb
  1. a Oxford Regional Task Force, John Radcliffe Hospital Site, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU
  2. b University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Regional Task Force, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6PF

    In the film Annie Hall Woody Allen tells an aphorism about two elderly ladies at a health farm. “The food here is really terrible,” says one to her friend. “Yes, and such small portions,” comes the reply. So it is with senior house officer training.

    Two years ago the conference “Senior house officers: the lost tribes” discussed the problems with training.1 The Calman report2 and a report due from the General Medical Council3 address the concerns relating to the training of higher specialist trainees and preregistration house officers respectively. The Academy of Royal Colleges' recently published report on senior house officer training4 has joined a long list of similar expressions of concern.5 6 7 8 “Service based training” has been promoted as the answer to the tension between service and training requirements. This differs from the traditional random exposure to clinical work of variable relevance and ad hoc (or no) supervision in that it involves crucial components such as feedback, appraisal, and the setting of educational objectives.8 …

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