Rate of undesirable events due to Junior Staff may be underestimated
I applaud the paper by Haller et al which highlights the risks
associated with novice trainees in a large academic teaching hospital in
Australia. This paper is however highly specific for one speciality, in
this case anaesthetics.
From a hospital-wide perspective, risks associated with new junior
staff may be diluted as they are regularly changing units or wards. For
instance in our Paediatric Department we have junior staff (PGY2-PGY3)
regularly rotating to our wards. These junior doctors usually have had no
prior post-graduate paediatric experience, and have not been exposed to
our policies and procedures. This happens in all units in our hospital,
and most hospitals in Australia. If these rotations occur frequently, ie
every 3 months then the risks associated with new junior medical staff
will be diluted, although very much present.
It would be interesting to see if this study can be replicated more
widely. My suspicion is that we do not spend enough time training each
group of new junior staff who rotate through our units. This is primarily
due to time constraints.
Competing interests: No competing interests