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Junior doctor contract and postgraduate training
  1. George Kimpton1,
  2. Barnaby Hole2
  1. 1 Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 NIHR Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr George Kimpton, Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; george.kimpton{at}

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Junior doctors provide service to the NHS while learning under supervision. As employees, they are salaried to serve their patients. As learners, they must strike a balance between training and service provision over five or more years of postgraduate education. The Secretary of State for Health recently expressed his concern that juniors must not ‘miss out on training because of service pressures’ and committed to improve ‘working lives and training experience’.1 The ongoing review of the 2016 Junior Doctors Contract seeks to tackle these issues.

We believe that the contract is no barrier to the quality or quantity of education. Improving training depends on fostering a culture that respects learning as the equal—or even primary—facet of a junior doctor’s work.

Trainees now work shifts, as new ‘work schedules’ detail the expected hours of work and learning. Every clinician knows that this is …

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  • Contributors BH conceived the idea for the letter and revised the structure, argument and content. GK wrote the original letter and revised the structure, argument and content.

  • Funding GK is supported by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, University of Bristol and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. BH is funded by a National Institute of Health Research Doctoral Fellowship.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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