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Assessing clinical competency in medical senior house officers: how and why should we do it?
  1. S J Carr
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S J Carr
 Department of Nephrology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK;


Most consultants are involved in the training and assessment of several grades of doctors in training especially senior house officers (SHOs) and specialist registrars. In the medical and other specialties there is an increasing trend towards assessing junior doctors’ competency using the record of in-training assessment process for specialist registrars and using the Royal College of Physicians folder to record competences of medical SHOs. It is necessary to consider why there is a need to assess competency, how it may be done practically, and the advantages and disadvantages of this system of assessment. There are considerable hurdles to the implementation of this system in the medical specialties within today’s NHS and the organisation may need to undergo fairly radical change to facilitate this system.

  • competence
  • senior house officer
  • education
  • MCQ, multiple choice question
  • mini-CEX, mini-clinical evaluation exercise
  • OSCE, objective structured clinical examination
  • SHO, senior house officer
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