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One of my GP registrars is being bullied...

The relationship between doctors in training and consultants can be rather fraught. As a course organiser, I have to place a number of young doctors whose final career intention is general practice into jobs with hospital departments where the consultants would much rather have career-grade doctors.

The relationship between doctors in training and consultants can be rather fraught. As a course organiser, I have to place a number of young doctors whose final career intention is general practice into jobs with hospital departments where the consultants would much rather have career-grade doctors.

Some consultants in the Jobbing Doctor's area are most obliging, and recognise that the young doctors in training for general practice often have much better generic skills and abilities than those who seek a career in their specialty. I salute them for their judgement and magnanimity.

One retired paediatrician whom I know well said to me that I consistently sent him better doctors than any of the ones he had who actually wanted to do paediatrics.

However, some departments do not, and seem to get great pleasure in organising rotas and teaching to suit their own career-minded doctors, and delight in making life as difficult as possible for those who are training for general practice. This seems to me to be vindictive and unnecessary, but unfortunately there is not a great deal that I can do to affect this.

It is not as if the training they get is particularly useful. Many of the doctors in training end up with the least useful clinics or operating lists or tasks, and find the whole hospital experience unpleasant and largely useless.

I often have to tell young doctors to grit their teeth and put up with the whole experience as it is only for a limited time and they should be motoring on towards the Elysian Fields of General Practice. Mostly they do.

However, I have a problem with one department which seems to be giving their doctors a very hard time - they will not allow doctors appropriate study leave to their career intention, and always give preference for non-GP training doctors. One young lady was, frankly, being bullied, and when on the wards any teaching she had (and there was not much) came from the ‘Sir Launcelot Spratt' school of teaching - by ritual humiliation and sarcasm.

This I found upsetting, and I had an hour-long discussion with her; she told me everything that went on, and when I asked her what she wanted me to do about it, she insisted that I do nothing as she was leaving the department shortly. I said that I would keep an eye on this process, and monitor any other episodes of problematic behaviour.

I had hoped that this was a one-off.

We are now three weeks into the new training year, and everyone's training posts changed on 6th August. Yesterday I had an e-mail asking if a doctor can make an appointment to see me as she was having a very hard time of it, and was given a very unfavourable rota and being refused requests for study leave. She said that one particular consultant was being really unpleasant to her.

It was the same one as last year.

I now have to decide what to do, as this seems to be a systematic problem with this consultant who seems to pick on vulnerable younger (female) trainees, and use it as a form of sport.

I shall have my meeting with this doctor, and talk to my fellow course organisers and other ex-trainees to see if this is a systemic problem. Then I might talk to the clinical tutor and the college rep to express my concerns.

I know that, as this has occurred twice in one year, it is not a chance finding.

I must do something.

Jobbing Doctor Jobbing Doctor

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