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I want to do a management course and work in NHS management. (I am a post-FRCA year 2 specialist registrar.) Please advise

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 01 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:s172
  1. Peter Maguire, consultant anaesthetist
  1. Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry


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Well done on passing the exam for fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA). Now that you have overcome this academic hurdle you can work towards management experience. Today, with the requirements of clinical governance, all doctors are exposed to being managers and a small number (especially specialist registrars (SpRs)) devote a considerable amount of time to management. As a higher specialist trainee SpR 4 in anaesthesia, I spent three months on secondment to the Department of Health to prepare for the implementation of the new deal for junior doctors (banded contract you now work on) and for the implementation of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). This management experience counted towards my certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST) as a management training module as an SpR.

All deaneries offer some form of local managerial training programmes for SpRs. Your regional anaesthetic educational adviser and postgraduate dean can give you advice about the courses available in your area. They are designed for SpRs in all specialties and are useful in that you will learn about management and will meet SpRs interested in management in other specialties. I enjoyed this training.

You may consider studying towards an MBA (master in business administration). Before embarking on this pathway, remember that it will take a considerable amount of time and you should seek guidance from your anaesthetic regional adviser before doing so. If you plan to take time out to do an MBA you may wish to retain your SpR national training number.

Do get involved in management in your own hospital. You may be able to work with the human resources department to help with the running of rotas and the administration associated with making doctors' work compliant with the EWTD. I did this and I was also involved with my local junior doctors committee of the BMA, where I was exposed to much NHS managerial experience.

All doctors with an interest in management should consider joining the British Association of Medical Managers ( for more information). The King's Fund runs specific courses for SpRs interested in management (

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