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Understanding the role of doctors in training

This is one of the recommendations from the ‘unit, trust and local education provider’ section of the RCOG/RCM undermining toolkit.

Understanding the role of doctors in training

Postgraduate training has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, with the introduction of run-through training in O&G and reduced working hours due to the implementation of the European Working Time Directive. Arguably, though, one of the biggest changes to the everyday working lives of junior doctors is the loss of the ‘firm structure’. This older structure had the advantage of a consistent apprenticeship model, where an SHO worked daily with the same consultant and registrar, allowing a good understanding of the pressures faced in each role.

As training has changed over the last decade, in some instances this mutual respect and understanding has been lost. It is vital that the specialty and the wider profession rekindle this. Senior doctors need to understand that today’s trainees might not face the same pressures as they faced, but there are pressures just the same, and felt with exactly the same intensity. As the first groups of run-through trainees achieve CCT over the next few years, they may be able to develop this understanding among their fellow consultants.

In addition, workplaces that promote a culture of respect and understanding encourage open conversations between colleagues, help to develop mutual respect and provide a safe culture for patients. We should all strive to achieve this culture within our own departments. An open dialogue between trainees and senior staff to promote positive working relationships can only be of benefit. In particular, access to educational activities provides mutual educational benefit and builds such a dialogue, and should be encouraged in spite of ever-increasing service pressures.

Elsewhere on the site

Resources and support for trainees
Further resources to support specialty trainees in O&G
Resources and support for trainers
Resources to help trainers deliver the specialty training programme in O&G