Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Young UK Doctors are not well-prepared to treat seriously ill patients

“New doctors feel unable to look after seriously ill patients because of greater emphasis on communication and teamwork over the basics during their training,” states an article in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph. The article describes the results of a recent paper in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, a BMJ publication.

The study, a systematic review of the literature on the subject, found that not only did junior doctors feel under-prepared for treating acutely ill patients, their senior colleagues agreed. It concluded, "The assimilation of evidence in this review suggests that recent changes in UK undergraduate training, while improving preparedness in some areas, may have neglected acute care."

The Telegraph interviewed Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, who said: "These findings about low confidence of new doctors in coping with acutely ill patients do not come as a surprise. Current restrictions to working hours mean thin rotas [rotations] that leave these doctors exposed and make it hard for them to build experience.”

Junior doctors in the UK are restricted to a maximum of 48-hour of work per week.

Well now, what are we to make of this? I thought everything was just fine in the land of work hours restrictions.


RobertL39 said...

And to think that this all started with a case which, in hindsight, probably had little to do with long hours [http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/magazine/the-phantom-menace-of-sleep-deprived-doctors.html?pagewanted=all]. But once the ball starts rolling...

Skeptical Scalpel said...


I agree and have said so on this blog. See http://is.gd/5J6U2z.

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