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Tricks of the trade: time management tips for newly qualified doctors
  1. Gozie Offiah1,
  2. Eva Doherty2
  1. 1 Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 Department of Surgical Affairs and Department of Human Factors and Patient Safety, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gozie Offiah, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Education and Research Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland; gozieoffiah{at}


Background The transition from medical student to doctor is an important milestone. The discovery that their time is no longer their own and that the demands of their job are greater than the time they have available is extremely challenging.

Methods At a recent surgical boot camp training programme, 60 first-year surgical trainees who had just completed their internship were invited to reflect on the lessons learnt regarding effective time management and to recommend tips for their newly qualified colleagues. They were asked to identify clinical duties that were considered urgent and important using the time management matrix and the common time traps encountered by newly qualified doctors.

Results The surgical trainees identified several practical tips that ranged from writing a priority list to working on relationships within the team. These tips are generic and so applicable to all newly qualified medial doctors.

Potential implication We hope that awareness of these tips from the outset as against learning them through experience will greatly assist newly qualified doctors.

  • interns / junior doctors / newly qualified doctors
  • time management
  • transition
  • stress
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  • Contributors GO is a senior clinical lecturer in the undergraduate medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. GO facilitated in the boot camp session and prepared the manuscript for this study. ED is the director of Human Factors in Patient Safety at the National Surgical Training Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. ED ran the boot camp session and contributed to preparing the manuscript as well as the subsequent revisions of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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