Medical Education


PRHOs 1976

The first of my serious medical education studies to be published in a medical journal. Born out of my own frustrations at the excessive work levels and the seeming lack of any overseeing of the year by those who were responsible, the study surveyed the entire year of PRHOs of which I was myself a member. The study could not have been done without the collaboration of Kennedy Cruickshank, who was also a PRHO at the time, and a lot of hard work by Diana Lockwood, who was then a medical student in Birmingham, while I was working as a PRHO at the then very busy Shotley Bridge General Hospital** in Country Durham.

The only publication to come from this study was the paper in the Lancet, although we did also produce a more detailed mimeographed report which also contains the original questions, although I no longer seem to be able to find a copy of the questionnaire itself. The paper itself was a nice mix of quantitative and qualitative methods (although it wouldn't have been called that then), and its provocative title meant that the study was eventually accepted in the Lancet. Many years later I heard indirectly that it had caused quite a rumpus at the GMC Education Committee, which should have been overseeing the PRHO year, although nothing actually changed for many years, although things have now undoubtedly improved dramatically. 

**For a fine aerial photograph of  Shotley Bridge Hospital, looking much as it looked when I worked there, and for other photographs as well as a good history, see Peter Higginbotham's web site.