Intended for healthcare professionals


A junior doctor by any other name

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 17 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4797
  1. Robin Baddeley, editorial registrar
  1. The BMJ

The chief medical officer of England’s call to ban the title junior doctor made front page news—and then the backlash began. Robin Baddeley reports

A major sovereignty dispute is burning in Catalonia, a game of nuclear war “chicken” is being conducted over Twitter, and Ben Stokes is facing possible exclusion from the upcoming Ashes contest. Despite these pressing issues, last week the Times chose to carry the front page headline: “Top medic demands end to junior doctor job title.”1

England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, had publicly voiced her support for the Oxford Health Alliance’s campaign to end the use of the title junior doctor, a term the Oxford University academics considered “unjust, progressively inaccurate, detrimental to self-esteem, and widely misunderstood by the general public.” The story, also covered in the Sun and the Daily Telegraph, publicised the CMO’s …

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