Prof Scarlett McNally

BSc MB BChir FRCS (Tr & Orth) MA MBA FAcadMEd
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

New report ‘What should we call Junior doctors?’

My report ‘What should we call Junior Doctors?’ is now published here.

I was invited to report on what we should call junior doctors. I convened a working group, with a range of invited speakers, to give their views. A survey had almost 2000 responders. Everyone (78% of survey responders) agrees that the term ‘junior doctor’ is demeaning. 47% also thought ‘trainee’ should also be avoided. The educational labels that started in 2007 are poorly understood. It is not a simple re-branding exercise. There are many problems. The term means different things to different people. There are almost as many doctors working in similar roles who are not in training posts as doctors who are in training posts. There are multiple other roles in healthcare that can be confusing. People tend to guess if they are not sure or don’t want to cause embarrassment. This can be a safety problem, if other staff do not realise the seniority of an opinion giver.

I have some solutions! It will require a suite of terms, not just one. Some old terms (eg “Registrar”) should come back.

My report has no legal power to change practice. I am reliant on everyone: the public, staff, doctors and organisations that manage them, to share my report and start some changes. Thank you.

Mrs Scarlett McNally BSc MB BChir FRCS(Tr&Orth) MA MBA FAcadMEd
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Twitter @scarlettmcnally

Report “What should we call Junior Doctors?”Executive SummaryRecommendations TableRecommendations ListHealth Education England Response 24/12/2021Health Education England Response 10/05/2022Press Release