Postgraduate medical education has recently been the subject of major and fundamental review. The four UK Health Departments have set out the underpinning principles in Modernising Medical Careers (Department of Health, 2003), which sees the adoption of a number of trends that have emerged in medical education. One such trend is an emphasis on learning and the development of skills, including continuing professional development, with a move away from the apprenticeship model towards more structured and systematic training. This also means that structured training programmes that have defined curricula and show clear quality assurance processes will become the norm. The aim is to have a flexible, trainee-centred approach within which individuals can develop at their own pace and take increasing responsibility for their own training in a variety of clinical settings.
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