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Views & Reviews Review

Filming the foundation years

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1843
  1. Yusuf Mirza, foundation year 2 doctor, Royal Lancaster Infirmary
  1. mirzyusuf{at}

This television series follows seven newly qualified doctors working in hospital for the first time, but Yusuf Mirza finds it lacks authenticity

Should you believe everything you see on television? Certainly not, as Dr Keir Shiels exclaims in the opening scenes of Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands. This docusoap follows six foundation programme trainees at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Newcastle General as they work, rest, and play.

In this slickly edited series, we meet seven junior doctors who are also housemates. Adam is the handsome extrovert; Katherine is the Cambridge graduate; Lucy’s sister has been diagnosed as having cystic fibrosis; Suzi is a self described Barbie girl; John is a rugby player; Keir is enterprising; and Andy wants to be a surgeon. They are introduced as warriors in the fight against disease, as they get to grips with the demands of medicine on the wards and their life outside of work.

Some of the realities of being a junior doctor are well captured. The camera records Suzi’s rapid initiation to the emergency department, …

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