"Mirar las cosas de cara, ser capaces de sorprendernos, tener curiosidad y un poco de coraje; saber preguntar y saber escuchar; evitar los dogmas y las respuestas automáticas; no buscar necesariamente respuestas y aún menos fórmulas magistrales" (Emili Manzano)
Following completion of medical school, doctors enter a vocational training phase. In the UK a doctor's training normally follows the following path:
Foundation program (PRHO - pre-registration house officer and SHO - Senior House Officer)
A two year Foundation Program, where the doctors perform rotations in a variety of different specialties.
Specialization (StR - Specialty Registrar)
To specialize as a GP a doctor must complete eighteen months of posts in a variety of hospital specialties and also eighteen months as a General Practice Specialty Registrar. After completion of this training and the subsequent exams, the doctor can become a GP and can practice independently.
Hospital doctors are promoted to StR after passing relevant postgraduate exams within their chosen specialty (e.g. Member of the Royal College of Physicians MRCP, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons MRCS) and after completing a competitive interview selection process
Consultant or General Practitioner
The highest level achievable in a specialty is Consultant which is achieved on completion of the CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training)
Competition is extremely high for those who wish to attain consultant level and many doctors now complete additional degrees in research such as a Doctorate of Medicine (MD), (two years full-time research); or a PhD (three years of full-time research).
The time it takes to get from graduating medical school to becoming a consultant varies between specialties but can be anything from 7 to even more than 10 years.
A British doctor briefly describing work as an intern in London
My Name is Dr O’Donnell and I’m a PRHO, working in West London. I started work a couple of months ago and I highly enjoy my job. Which isn’t to say there aren’t drawbacks to it. London is a very multicultural and diverse city. One can meet people from many different countries and social classes. This creates a need to be very flexible and versatile especially when it comes to understanding patients.
Not all patients will speak English fluently. Moreover, most will actually speak English as a second or third language. This can really create problems from time to time. Patients and even medical professionals will come from a variety of countries such as India, China or Poland. With different accents, language abilities and expressions directly translated from their native languages, they can be rather difficult to comprehend. But, alas, I do my best.
London is also a rather specific city in many aspects. Unlike in smaller towns or rural areas, crime rates are unfortunately very high, which has an influence not only on the types of hospital cases we receive but also on doctor morale. One has to get used to it and try not to be affected by it. The workload is also very heavy and arduous. Much more so than in smaller cities, which sometimes demotivates people and stops potential doctors from moving to London.
On the whole though I find the job extremely rewarding and enjoyable. The pay structure is rather good and I receive additional perks and benefits as well. I really shouldn’t complain.