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J R Soc Med. 1994 June; 87(6): 331–333.
PMCID: PMC1294562

Junior doctors' hours: what do they really think?


Junior doctors' hours are one of the most controversial topics under debate in the health service today. We undertook a detailed postal questionnaire of hospital doctors in training within a major teaching unit in order to assess the awareness and perceived implications of the incipient changes and to elucidate how it was felt these changes would affect both the doctors and patients. The questionnaire focused specifically on the effect of the changes on quality and continuity of patient care, junior training and socio-economic factors relating to the medical staff. The questionnaire was entirely anonymous and carried only the first author name but provision was made to determine current grade, specialty, age, sex and career plans of the respondents. Importantly, space was included at the end for pertinent comments. All junior staff in training in all specialties in the Cardiff area were circulated. Three hundred and twenty-six questionnaires were sent out and 202 were returned of which 192 were properly completed (59%). Almost everyone was au fait with the proposed changes. There was a surprisingly high level of support for changes among non-surgical trainees, and half felt that quality of care would improve, though the more senior the trainee, the less enthusiastic they were in all aspects. Many felt that far too little consultation with junior staff had taken place and there was generalized criticism of general practitioner trainees by their specializing counterparts, partly because of a perceived lack of commitment and partly because of blame of this group for the inception of the changes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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