Junior doctor survival kit
You’ve been bleeped
A series on responding to common on-calls
- By: Rakesh Patel
If someone said to you that you had four, five, or even six years to learn something, you would probably be forgiven for thinking that that was more than enough time. However, when that “something” is medicine, you may start to think otherwise. Over this period, individuals must learn the fundamentals of basic sciences as well as master the skills necessary to practise clinical medicine safely. Nevertheless, some newly qualified doctors remain unprepared for entering practice by the time of graduation,1 particularly around being on call, managing acute clinical situations, prescribing, clinical prioritisation, and time management.2 Evidence also suggests that junior doctors in the first two years after graduation struggle with making a diagnosis or with clinical decision making out of hours,3 potentially leaving patients at risk of adverse outcomes.
The challenge for medical educators is knowing how to prepare medical students for working in the hospital environment, but more