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Junior doctors

Shilpa Prabhakar: Should you choose mental health as your specialty?

27 Oct, 16 | by BMJ

shilpa_prabhakarI have always wanted to be a doctor. Perhaps, like many, I was attracted to medicine because I wanted to help people. After qualifying in 2004, I briefly did a general medical rotation before moving into paediatrics and then surgical specialties. That’s when I came across psychiatry.

Mental health is the only specialty where you can have two different patients with the same diagnosis, but they present in completely different ways. The ability to work with patients over a long period of time is very unique to psychiatry. more…

Richard Thorley: Exception reporting—let’s show Jeremy how hard we really work  

11 Oct, 16 | by BMJ

richard_thorleyThe day we have all been dreading in obstetrics and gynaecology has arrived. Some trusts started to roll out the new contract for junior doctors last week. The cancellation of strike action recently left a select few determined strike activists fuming, but while it seems most of us welcomed the decision, it has left us bereft of any plan to stop Jeremy Hunt’s new contract for junior doctors in England. We await further announcements from the JDC, who remain firmly opposed in principle to the imposition. They talk of further action not based around strikes, but there is no indication of what this might be or how it could possibly halt the juggernaut that is the 2016 deal. The regrettable failure of Justice for Health to win a favourable outcome in the High Court recently means that with just days to go before the first tranche of us sign on the dotted line, any remaining fight to prevent the new conditions being introduced is futile.  more…

Ahmed Rashid: The UK junior doctor contract dispute in 10 hashtags

29 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

ahmed_rashidHashtag: #iminworkjeremy

Description: When Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for health) accused the NHS of having a “Monday to Friday culture,” healthcare workers from across the country posted selfies of themselves busy at work on their weekend shifts.

Example: @trentconsultant #ImInWorkJeremy been round with registrar. Every patient seen. All poorly ones or who need decision seen by consultant. New contract needed? (18/07/15). more…

Thomas Oliver: Rare sarcomas—improving awareness among junior doctors

12 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

Thomas OliverThe National Sarcoma Awareness Project was launched in 2013 by a team from the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust) to raise sarcoma’s profile among medical students and junior doctors. Four years in, it has caught the imaginations of over a thousand participants—a new generation of potential sarcoma clinicians and researchers, which now includes me since I participated in the funded fellowship last year.

I recently discussed my involvement in the project, believing that any drive to improve sarcoma patient care must address the relative ignorance we, as a profession, have about sarcoma.

This is, perhaps, of no great surprise. more…

Michael Moran: How to define a junior doctor

12 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

michael_moranIt was a rude awakening for me when a new registrar colleague exclaimed with glee: “your GMC number begins with a 6!”

I hadn’t the heart to tell her that it’s actually a “61…” GMC number, and so there must have been around 100,000 doctors who qualified between my graduation day and hers. And so, you must understand, on any given day, I don’t feel very “junior.” With a Masters and PhD under my belt, as well as 11 years of work as a doctor, I wonder about the job title that is bandied about for so many of us: junior doctor. more…

Rosamund Snow: What to call junior doctors—a patient’s perspective

12 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

rosamund_snowThe Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh have recently called for a change in the way we refer to junior doctors–“junior” and “trainee” sounds too pejorative and affects the morale of these “highly skilled and dedicated professionals.”

I’m not convinced that this kind of change would make a lot of difference to doctors’ morale or burn-out rate, which seems to stem from slightly more complex causes than job titles, but if it helps, fine. All I ask is that you remember the patient while thinking of an alternative. more…

Ahmed Rashid: Medical careers—it’s what you make of it

4 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

ahmed_rashidThe first year of medical postgraduate training, known in the UK as foundation year one (or previously as the “pre-registration house officer” year), is a decisive time for junior doctors. Like most of my colleagues, I was inspired by lots of physicians and surgeons during this year and was regularly wowed by seemingly brilliant diagnoses and procedural skills. There was, however, one academic physician who I remember particularly fondly.

In the high pressured environment of a busy London teaching hospital, she always found time to talk to people and often stopped ward rounds to engage in lengthy conversations with patients and their families more…

Martin Kaminski: What I’ll miss about the NHS

2 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

martin_KaminskiAs another first Wednesday in August approaches, I feel pensive and wistful that this year I won’t be spending changeover day in the heart of the National Health Service. Although you probably don’t hear it, I’m writing this in an American accent and am setting off for a spell to Boston, Massachusetts, where I grew up and my family still remain, to start a specialty registrar training post in infectious diseases.

All of my medical training has been in Europe, with all of my postgraduate training from foundation onward in London. So while I do look forward to learning new lessons from working in medicine in a different country more…

Alice Gerth: What to do about junior doctor morale?

11 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

junior_docs_disputeNegotiations, four emergency care only strikes, a threatened imposition, one full strike, a referendum rejecting the contract and an imposition. It’s been an interesting few months. Many junior doctors are jaded by the experience and struggling with the continuing uncertainty: will there be further strikes, what impact will “Brexit” have upon the NHS, what will my job look like in two, let alone 10 years time?

To exacerbate things the yearly migration of junior doctors approaches. For many this means new city, new job, new responsibility. We await rotas and as such are unable to plan beyond the end of July, we do not know when we will next have a holiday or if we can attend that good friend’s wedding. Rotas this year are likely to be further delayed and covering a shorter time period as trusts awaited the results of the junior doctor vote and need to accommodate staggered transitions onto the new contract. This uncertainty is bad for morale and resilience. more…

Reena Aggarwal: Are junior doctors going to vote for the new contract proposal?

27 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

reena_aggarwalJunior doctors are caught in a maelstrom; voting for or against a contract that is the best offer yet proposed, but with questions about its fairness, safety, and practical application especially now in the post Brexit era. Since the contract was published, as one of the public facing grass roots junior doctors over the past ten months, I am increasingly alarmed and dismayed at the nature and content of the debate that has raged over social media platforms by my profession. In many ways this bitter and protracted dispute has captured many years of simmering discontent, anger, and angst over junior doctor working conditions. Declining morale has come to the fore, within the context of ever-increasing public and societal expectation. more…

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