Senior house officers and foundation year doctors in emergency medicine: do they perform equally? A prospective observational study

P. A. R. Armstrong, A. L. White, S. Thakore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: Implementing foundation and specialty training programmes within emergency medicine raised concerns about the potential work productivity and effectiveness of new junior doctors. Between August 2006 and July 2007 senior house officers (SH0) on 6-month posts and foundation year 2 (FY2) doctors on 4-month placements worked on the same roster, rotating between the emergency department at Ninewells Hospital, a university teaching hospital in Dundee, and a smaller affiliated unit at Perth Royal Infirmary. To compare the efficiency and productivity of both groups of junior medical staff. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed at both departments using the number of patients seen per hour as an indicator of productivity. These rates were calculated using information gathered from a computerised patient record and management system. Analysis was performed using unpaired t tests. Results: Both groups demonstrated a significant rise in performance between the first and last month of their attachment. There was no statistical performance difference between months 4 and 6 of the SH0 group, and no significant statistical difference existed between the two groups over the study period. Conclusions: With FY2 trainees changing every 4 months, departments are potentially exposed to reduced productivity particularly in month 1. Whereas FY2 trainees have no performance difference when compared with their peers, their presence has undoubtedly impacted on middle and senior staff. Only 65% of patients attending this department are seen by junior medical staff and the vast majority of these are reviewed by senior doctors. Increasing supervision, teaching and assessments improve training, but has reduced shop floor presence and productivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)725-727
    Number of pages3
    JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


    • Clinical Competence
    • Efficiency
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Emergency Service, Hospital
    • Humans
    • Medical Staff, Hospital
    • Prospective Studies
    • Scotland


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