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The cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills of 50 junior hospital doctors (22 house officers and 28 senior house officers) were assessed. Theoretical knowledge was measured by a multiple choice questionnaire and practical ability with the Laerdal Skillmeter Resusci Anne. Only 40% of the study group passed both tests. Those doctors who had previously received regular CPR training performed better in the practical test (P<0.05) than those who had not. Theoretical knowledge was unrelated to previous CPR training. It is recommended that junior hospital doctors should undergo regular CPR training every 6 months, in order to maintain their practical CPR skills.