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Junior doctor—should the term be abandoned?

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 25 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4928
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

After England’s chief medical officer called for use of the job title to be ended,1Abi Rimmer asked trainees attending the BMJ Careers Fair in London on Friday 20 October for their views

Laura Jones, clinical teaching fellow and senior house officer (SHO) in care of the elderly, South Tyneside Hospital

“I think the term is misunderstood, because whether you’re two months or six years out of medical school your title is ‘junior doctor.’ That can be very misleading not only to the general public but also to hospital staff. I don’t tend to use the term to introduce myself because when I have done in the past patients have asked, ‘So you haven’t finished your training and you’re not a doctor yet?’ When I was in foundation training I would say I was an F1 [year 1 foundation trainee] or an F2, and now I use the term SHO because I find that in general people have a slightly better understanding of what that is. If you say junior doctor people worry about the level of experience you have.”

Owen Seddon, trainee in microbiology and infectious diseases, Cardiff

“I think the controversy over the term junior doctor is a bit artificial, and I slightly resent it when people start objecting to the term …

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