GMC attacks medics training

April 18, 1997

MORE emphasis must be placed on the education and training of young doctors in their year of transition from provisional to full registration, says a report by the General Medical Council.

The New Doctor report, published this week, takes a critical look at the year after graduation when junior doctors are still the responsibility of universities but are working full time in hospitals. It says that though many new doctors get a good balance between training and service, for many the year is far from satisfactory.

Charles George, dean of the medical faculty at Southampton University and chairman of the GMC education committee which compiled the report, said: "We believe that if the public are to be properly protected, much greater emphasis will have to be placed on the transition from provisional to full registration. Many posts did not reach the standard we expected."

The report calls for proper clinical and educational supervision for pre-registration house officers (PRHOs), support for staff providing training and assessment of PRHOs and the establishment by universities of lines of accountability for overseeing the pre-registration year. It also demands appropriate provision for the welfare of PRHOs.

The GMC, which registers doctors trained in the UK, has given medical schools and hospitals three years to implement its recommendations.

Derek McLaughlan, chairman of the BMA student committee, said: "We welcome many of the initiatives, namely the recognition that it is an educational year and that educational supervisors should not just be a name only."

* The need to teach professional attitudes throughout undergraduate medical degrees was expected to top the agenda at this week's meeting of the GMC. The importance of role models for young doctors was also expected to be stressed.

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