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Station interviews: all change?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:370
  1. Philip E M Smith, consultant neurologist (
  1. University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff

In the late 1980s it took me 10 interviews to obtain a senior registrar post in neurology. In each interview I was called before a committee and asked in a fairly unstructured way about my previous jobs, research, audit and management skills, and interests outside medicine. The panel then chose the candidate who had interviewed the best—or, more likely, the candidate who despite the interview had remained the first choice from various pre-interview discussions, recommendations, and references. A sweaty hour with fellow interviewees would end with a door being opened, the lucky name being called, and the remainder of the group hearing how close it had been and how any of us might on another day have been appointed.

Whether such a process led to the appointment of the person who could actually do the job was never questioned. The limited data available indicate that it may not have done, since clinical performance actually …

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