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A case for the 4-month SHO post?

  • Brent Elliott (a1)
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Abstract
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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A case for the 4-month SHO post?

  • Brent Elliott (a1)
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eLetters

4 months-would it be enough?

DHARANGINI DINAKARAN, Specialist Registrar
16 June 2005

While I do agree with Brent Elliott’s argument that reducing the duration of SHO placement to 4 months would increase the exposure to various sub specialities, I have doubts about the experience and knowledgeone would gain within this span of time.

We all know even 6 month placements can be unsettling both for trainees and the patients. Breaking the ice and forming a working relationship with the trainer and other members of the team takes a while.Excluding the time spent away on leave and with changes in the working culture (shift systems, post duty day off) one would spend far less than the actual time intended in each post, added to this the distraction of examinations. Reducing the length of training any further would greatly compromise the clinical experience as one may not have sufficient time during the placement to see a patient through the period of illness, initiate treatment and monitor the outcome.

If one wishes to gain experience in psychological interventions (e.g.motivational enhancement, relapse prevention groups during substance abusepost), given the practical difficulties encountered in setting up these, one may be unable to wrap up the sessions by the end of 4 months. The feasibility of pursuing a piece of research or audit may also be limited for similar reasons. Trainers may find it difficult to assess and appraisethe trainees within the short period of time.

Thus the idea of 4 month placements may provide one a flavour of the speciality but the trainees would find themselves moving on even before they can taste and relish the experience.

The special interest sessions integrated within the higher specialisttraining may provide a solution by enabling one to design their training to suit their needs. There are ample oppurtunities to expand the interest one might have developed during the basic training and also explore the specialities one did not have a chance to experience during their basic training.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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