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Foundation year doctors lack surgical experience

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 12 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:c4947
  1. James S Bowness, foundation year 2,
  2. Ben Clift, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  1. Correspondence to: J S Bowness jamessbowness{at}

Junior doctors’ training is always changing: from large scale changes, such as training and applications for specialties, to smaller ones, such as approval for study leave and taster opportunities. Developments such as the European Working Time Directive, restructuring of junior doctors’ training, and the increasing strain on NHS budgets mean that pressures of time and money are increasingly taking their toll on all aspects of medical training. As these burdens filter down through the NHS it seems that the training element in foundation posts is also coming under increasing pressure, with service provision ever increasing as a proportion of foundation trainees’ work.

An example is the reduction in time spent in theatre in doctors’ first years of experience. Older doctors often say, “By your stage I could do . . .” For example, a decade ago …

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