The MMC story
John Bonner traces the history of Modernising Medical Careers-the reform of doctors' training in the United Kingdom
Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) was set up to build the pathway that would lead the Lost Tribe home. That was the term coined in the early 1990s to highlight the neglect felt by junior doctors in the senior house officer (SHO) grade—a group whose working conditions were seen to be poorly regulated with too great an emphasis on the needs of the service instead of training.
Throughout the latter half of that decade, a number of organisations issued reports proposing changes to the SHO system. But these were largely concerned with looking at ways of improving the existing training structures, and it was August 2002 before plans were put forward for radical reform.
In his strategy document “Unfinished Business,” the chief medical officer for England and Wales, Sir Liam Donaldson, advocated replacing the traditional medical postgraduate education system with a two year foundation programme. The first year would replace the