Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
As Jones identified , medical students are not exposed to more niche specialties. This is a particular problem as many specialties are increasingly short-staffed . Foundation doctors only experience six different specialties during their foundation training, and this compounds the problem further.
This highlights the importance of promoting ‘Taster Weeks’ to foundation trainees. These are short one-week attachments in any specialty of the trainees choosing. However, only 5% of foundation year doctors take up this opportunity . Promoting Taster Weeks to doctors who are early in their careers could help improve retention of doctors in training and in part help alleviate the staffing crisis the NHS has encountered.
1 Jones H. Role model: Tamsin Greenwell. BMJ 2020;368. doi:10.1136/bmj.l7079
2 British Medical Association. The state of pre and post-graduate medical recruitment in England, September 2017. 2017.
3 Collins J. Foundation for Excellence An Evaluation of the Foundation Programme. London, UK: 2010.