The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) is an ‘independent regulatory body which sets standards, approves, quality assures and evaluates postgraduate medical education and training in the UK’ (Thomas, 2005). The Board was launched in September 2005, although it will be another 2–3 years before it will become fully functional as the single competent authority for postgraduate medical education and training. It is worth noting that the remit of the PMETB does not encompass undergraduate medical education, training for pre-registration doctors or dental education and training. The three important areas of activity of PMETB include approval of curricula and assessments, certification and quality assurance. The first two of these are of immediate and direct relevance to trainees. Brown's paper ‘The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) goes live’ (2005, this issue) gives an excellent overview of the origins, structure and roles and responsibilities of the PMETB. However, one key aspect that is not discussed in Brown's paper is the impact of PMETB on trainees and training. We will highlight some of these issues and discuss concerns which trainees have raised regarding changes to training which will arise in the wake of the PMETB.
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