Junior doctor survival kit
Do junior doctors specialise too early? Yes
Newly qualified doctors in the UK have just 14 months to choose a specialty. Daniel Brown thinks this is not long enough, but Jordon Evans (doi:10.1136/sbmj.f3953) says early specialisation has real advantages
Newly qualified doctors in the United Kingdom begin their work as doctors in the foundation programme. Over the course of two years, doctors rotate through different medical and surgical specialties, sampling each for four or six months at a time. The foundation programme aims to allow junior doctors to test their interest in various specialties and understand how their personal strengths and weaknesses relate to the demands of the specialty. Junior doctors are supposed to have chosen a specialty in which to pursue “core training” mid-way through their second year in the programme; they therefore apply to specialist posts with just 16 months’ experience.1 This is in stark contrast to the old system of pre-registration and senior house officers, in which doctors would commonly undertake three to four years of basic medical and surgical training before specialist applications.
A year is a limited time in which to decide on