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Junior doctors

Neel Sharma: Reforms in medical education—are we missing something?

22 May, 15 | by BMJ

Medical education has seen significant change over the past decade and more. Advances in teaching, learning, and assessment strategies are vast. The didactic lecture form of teaching is no longer the flavour of the month it seems with more and more emphasis on problem and team based learning. Classrooms are seeing the use of mobile devices to allow for rapid learner access to information and instructors are now tasked with the need not to simply disseminate information but to ensure understanding and provide appropriate feedback. Classes are being “flipped” and the MOOC movement has meant that attending face to face teaching is slowly becoming a non-existing entity. more…

Daniel Barrett: Will a seven day NHS push primary care recruitment from crisis to catastrophe?

20 May, 15 | by BMJ

I listened with personal interest as the new conservative government re-launched its grand plan to deliver a “seven day health service.” In a little over a year I will be beginning life as a junior doctor along with thousands of others, all starting to question where our careers are heading. The answer for many of us could well be tied up inextricably with the fate of the “seven day NHS.” more…

Neel Sharma: Getting the right medical students comes with time

13 May, 15 | by BMJ

Last month, Richard Schwartzstein authored his perspective on poor communication skills among medical students and beyond (1). I read this with great interest and wanted to share my insights as a doctor in training. In the UK, it was also noted that allegations about doctors’ communication skills had risen by 69 per cent in the last year and complaints about lack of respect by 45 per cent (2). Whilst we may attempt to screen out those poor communicators early on as Richard highlights, I am not sure if this is truly beneficial. more…

Ahmed Rashid: Should junior doctors accept pharma support for clinical research training?

27 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

ahmed_rashidJunior clinical researchers know that there’s really only one way for them to comprehensively get on the academic ladder and prove their credibility. Those three letters that contain years of effort and soul searching that make all the difference. The essential and the impossible. The mountain. The PhD.

But, of course, once you’ve made the brave decision to take on this beast, you must then find the support to do so. And the particular support needed to tackle this beast is money. Unless you’re able to support yourself by other means, and dramatically reduce your income by enrolling as an independent postgraduate student, a clinical research fellowship may be the only option. more…

Sanna W Khawaja: At a crossroads in medical training

17 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

sanna_khawajaI am in the recruitment stage between interviews and offers. At this moment in time, when I look to August I can see myself as both in training and not in training. I can see myself as employed and as unemployed. Perhaps it is the task of ranking potential future jobs, or the desire to avoid this task, that has me thinking very seriously about my future as a doctor in the NHS.

When I took a year out after foundation training, it had been for a number of reasons. Yes, part of it was the desire to gain more experience, to travel, to work abroad, and to finally pick a specialty to commit to. But perhaps, more importantly, it was a chance to step off of the conveyor belt of medical training and re-examine my choices so far. more…

Rebecca Stout: To apply or not to apply? Why some junior doctors are taking years out instead of going straight into training

28 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

rebecca_stoutA recent news article in The BMJ told us that the figures from the UK Foundation Programme Office show that the number of foundation year 2 (FY2) doctors applying straight into a training post has fallen again: “in August 2014 (it) was 59%—down from 64% in 2013, 67% in 2012, and 71% in 2011.” As a foundation year 2 doctor who decided this year not to apply for training I am going examine why I think this is becoming an ever more popular choice. more…

Sanna W Khawaja: An NHS full of secret agents

2 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

sanna_khawajaWhile I enjoy the occasional spy movie, I always find myself irritated at the protagonist, who very often spends the film focused on a mission with little or no knowledge of the “bigger picture.” Quite often he or she knows little about the organisation they work for, and, at times, they even accidentally end up in a gun fight with their own colleagues.

I was mid-rant about these “secret agents” when it recently dawned on me that I too have been trained like a secret agent (albeit without the martial arts). more…

Will Stevens: Parachuting doctor—life as a UK Army Reserve

26 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

unnamedIn my day job I work as a foundation year 2 junior doctor in Oxfordshire, but for the past seven years, I have also been a serving Army Reservist. Last weekend saw my unit, 144 Parachute Medical Squadron, deploy to Longmoor Training Area in Hampshire on a training exercise called Ex Green Serpent.

The weekend was packed with patrolling, care of casualties while under fire, radio use and signalling, mine awareness, and countering improvised explosive devices—with exercises practised during the day, as well as at night in complete darkness, reflecting the harsh realities of conflict. more…

Sanna W Khawaja: What can we learn from the locum?

15 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

sanna_khawajaWhen recounting the tale of my first ever shift as a bona fide doctor, the line “I was on call with a locum SHO and a locum Reg” tends to get the perfect reaction: sympathy and kudos. I follow “The Locum Doctor” on Facebook and have made many a witty (some would disagree) joke with a “locum” punchline. The newspapers also love a bit of locum bashing. Yet here I am, taking a gap year for a number of reasons and I am “the emergency department (ED) locum.” more…

Martin Kaminski: How not to be a junior doctor

1 Aug, 14 | by BMJ

martin_KaminskiTo all the newly qualified doctors about to inaugurate their careers in junior house officer posts across the UK next week, I bestow upon you the secrets to a happy and fulfilling start as a junior doctor. Namely, do not do some of the things that my colleagues and I did (which is a way of hiding the fact that it was mostly me), and you will likely not only survive, but also avoid a few blunders along the way. Of course, this is contingent on having also memorised the entire Oxford Textbook of Medicine front to back. No pressure. more…

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