Junior doctors in an acute care setting
Better practical training and supervision are needed
- By: Gary Smith
The General Medical Council’s (GMC) Tomorrow’s Doctors lists 16 outcomes, all of which medical students must achieve by the time they graduate “ . . .in order to be properly prepared for clinical practice and the Foundation Programme . . . .”1 One of these is the provision of immediate care in medical emergencies—that is, acute care, which includes the ability to assess and recognise a patient’s severity of illness, diagnose and manage acute medical emergencies, and provide life support. A separate outcome is the ability to prescribe drugs safely, effectively, and economically.
It is worrying that the authors of a review of 10 studies describing the educational impact of UK medical school training on graduates’ preparedness to begin clinical practice have reported that graduates perceive themselves to be less well prepared in acute care and prescribing than in the other 14 outcomes.2
All 10 studies used questionnaires, face to