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Do junior doctors specialise too early? No

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 09 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f3953
  1. Jordan Evans, academic foundation year 2 doctor
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend CF31 1RQ, UK

Newly qualified doctors in the UK have just 14 months to choose a specialty. Daniel Brown (doi:10.1136/sbmj.f3950) thinks this is not long enough, but Jordan Evans says early specialisation has real advantages

“Do you know what you want to specialise in yet?” Surely the most frequently asked question during our time at medical school and during foundation training. Family barbecues, birthdays, christenings, funerals—if there’s a gathering of family or friends, you will be asked.

Fortunately for me I have been able to answer with some conviction as I have known what I want to specialise in for many years. While this is not always the case, most medical graduates in the United Kingdom do have a good idea of what area of medicine they would like to pursue. In a survey of 2778 medical graduates in 2002, 71% regarded their reported career choice as definite or probable.1 There is a strong argument for a more streamlined approach to producing the consultants of the future.

Practice makes perfect

Clinical experience—and lots of it—is one of the …

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