Intended for healthcare professionals


A firm foundation for senior house officers

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 10 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1390
  1. Derek Gallen, postgraduate dean (,
  2. Ed Peile, professor of medical education (
  1. LNR Deanery, Leicester LE19 1SS
  2. Division of Medical Education, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

    Foundation programme will provide a focused educational experience

    Modernising Medical Careers highlighted changes that will reform the senior house officer training grade in the United Kingdom.1 Implementing these long overdue reforms has wide ranging implications for all training posts,2 3 as outlined in the latest guidance on all training programmes in The Next Steps.4 The main thrust is for doctors to begin their careers with a two year foundation programme. Thereafter they move on to specialist training grades running through to consultant level. This “run through” period would be shorter than the current training period and competency based.

    Introducing the foundation programme represents a fundamental change for the senior house officer grade. From August 2005 all medical graduates will undertake an integrated planned programme of general training. The first year will be similar to the current preregistration year and will include full registration. The second year offers doctors further generic skills training in a mixture of specialties. The end point is to have competent doctors who are able to recognise and manage acutely sick patients and are ready to enter specialist training.

    Many hospital departments currently rely on the service commitment of …

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