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Opportunities and Options in Medical Careers.
  1. S J LEINSTER
  1. Dean, Medical School
  2. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

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    Opportunities and Options in Medical Careers. Ruth Chambers, Key Mohanna, and Steve Field. (Pp 169; £17.95.) Radcliffe Medical Press, 2000. ISBN 1-85775-451-4.***

    The need for a source of reliable career advice and counselling for doctors is equalled by our failure until now to meet it. The authors set out with the intention of producing a manual for people involved in career advice to juniors and colleagues, but in the end produced a book aimed at the person seeking the advice as well as the advisor.

    The initial section will not prepare you to be a career counsellor but it does raise awareness of the issues within a profession that has not really thought about them. It gives sound advice on thinking about one's career but it is not a substitute for a good career counsellor or advisor.

    The second part of the book is weaker. It comprises a series of some 30 case studies of doctors working within a variety of careers. It is difficult to detect the logic behind the selection. The breadth of case studies suggests that the book is intended to be of general use across all sections of the profession but there are some parts of the book where the authors' background in primary care results in a distorted emphasis. The advice on career requirements is not always accurate, for example the FRCS is now an exit examination not an entry requirement for accident and emergency medicine.

    Despite these drawbacks the book the book is useful and timely but insufficient as the only guide to career planning.

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