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Modernising medical careers: an opportunity for psychiatry?

  • Joe Herzberg (a1), Alastair Forrest (a2) and Shelley Heard (a3)
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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.
References
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Brook, P. (1983) Who's for psychiatry? United Kingdom medical schools and career choice of psychiatry 1961–75. British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 361365.
Department of Health (2002) Unfinished Business – Proposals for the Reform of the Senior House Officer Grade. London: Department of Health.
Department of Health (2003) Modernising Medical Careers. The Response of the Four UK Health Ministers to the Consultation on Unfinished Business: Proposals for Reform of the Senior House Officer Grade. London: Department of Health.
Herzberg, J. & Paice, E. (2002) Psychiatric training revisited – better, worse or the same? Psychiatric Bulletin, 26, 132134.
Herzberg, J., Aitken, M. & Moss, F. (2003) Pre-registration house officer training in psychiatry: the London experience. Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 192194.
Lambert, T.W., Goldacre, M. J., Davidson, J. M., et al (2001) Graduate status and age of entry to medical school as predictors of doctors' choice of long-term career. Medical Education, 35, 450454.
Maidment, R., Livingstone, G., Katona, M., et al (2003) Carry on shrinking: career intentions and attitudes to psychiatry of prospective medical students. Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 3032.
Paice, E. & Aitken, M. (2003) North London Trainees' Point of View Survey 2002/3. London: London Deanery, 20 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DZ.
Pidd, S. A. (2003) Recruiting and retaining psychiatrists. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 9, 405411.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2002) Annual Census of Psychiatric Staffing 2001. Occasional Paper OP54. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Modernising medical careers: an opportunity for psychiatry?

  • Joe Herzberg (a1), Alastair Forrest (a2) and Shelley Heard (a3)
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eLetters

Modernising medical careers: challenges and opportunities

Rafey A. Faruqui, Specialist Registrar & Hon. Research Fellow
08 July 2004

The editorial by Herzberg et al (2004) could be seen in line with other recently published work (e.g. Gallen & Peile, 2004) recently, supporting `Modernising medical careers`(MMC).

I agree with the authors' view that the inclusion of psychiatry postsin year 2 of Foundation programme (FY 2) could help train and recruit an increased number of doctors in this specialty. However, it might still be correct to state that the challenges MMC offers to the profession extends much beyond FY 2.

Doctors at a recent British Medical Association annual representative meeting have criticized the implementation of MMC (BMA news, 2004). Reductions in the duration and standards of specialist training have been highlighted amongst the major concerns.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists and leaders in postgraduate education and training are still required to provide answers to important questions including the nature of future exit exams, duration of specialist training and scope of super specializations.

Postgraduate training in psychiatry is facing yet another seriousthreat, with psychiatric services focusing mainly on the management of so-called serious mental illnesses. The trainees hardly get adequate opportunities to see other disorders of high prevalence, including anxietyand somatoform disorders and sexual dysfunction.

The MMC, with a shortened specialist-training period, could potentially compromise the development of appropriate range of clinical competencies. The success of MMC would depend on providing a training structure, which supports a wide clinical experience.

References:

Gallen, D., Peile, E.(2004) A firm foundation for senior house officers. BMJ, 328: 1390-1

Herzberg, J., Forrest, A., Heard, S. (2004) Modernising medical careers: an opportunity for psychiatry?

Wafer, A. (2004) Training shake-up: real career threat. BMA News, Saturday July 3, 2004.

Competing interests: none
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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