Surveys of senior house officers and registrars were undertaken by postal questionnaire to ascertain views on the need for and content of induction training, career counselling, and performance review. The questionnaire was sent out in May 1990 and repeated in May 1996, after measures had been taken to improve induction training, and assessment and appraisal of trainees. In 1990 there was a clear wish to receive information on career prospects, research and education opportunities, and clinical audit, but more ambivalence regarding information or training in communication, discharge policies, standards, and encoding procedures. There was also a firm view that career counselling could be improved and formal goal setting and performance appraisal interviews would be welcomed. In 1996 there was disappointingly little change in the views expressed by the junior medical staff, though there was a significant increase in confidence in the role of the consultant in career counselling.
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