The guidelines on criteria necessary for promotion to senior registrar grade in psychiatry may be found in The Handbook for Inceptors and Trainees 1987. The criteria are essentially those in the 1980 edition, namely the need for possession of MRCPsych status and completion of at least three years general professional training approved by the College. Yet it is undeniable that in recent years eligible candidates have experienced much more difficulty in achieving appointment as a senior registrar. Indeed Holden (1988) comments that “dedicated clinical service and the qualification of MRCPsych is insufficient to guarantee a registrar success in his or her application for a senior registrar post”. In the increasingly competitive job market research experience, possession of publications, and management training have become valuable assets for prospective candidates. Our concern at the lack of pertinent career guidance for trainee psychiatrists prompted us to look at trainees' perceptions of requirements and at the provisions which exist in their training to enhance their career prospects.
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