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Impact of cancelling foundation year rotations due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK
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  1. Anni Ding1,
  2. Yuanpei Zhang2
  1. 1 Academic Foundation Doctor, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Academic Foundation Doctor, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Torquay, Torbay, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anni Ding, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK; anni.ding{at}nhs.net

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We, like many other doctors around the country, have been following the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK with great interest.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that can cause a spectrum of respiratory illnesses, which range from the common cold, to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV). COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The disease first emerged in December 2019, associated with a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has become pandemic, affecting at least 176 countries and territories worldwide. At the time of writing, there have been 803 650 cases and 39 033 deaths globally. The number of cases in the UK has been rising dramatically; in total, 22 465 cases of COVID-19 has been identified with 1412 deaths.1 The scale of the public health crisis posed by COVID-19 has been unparalleled in recent times, putting the National Health Service (NHS) under extreme stress, particularly in London. Indeed, the ExCeL centre in London is currently being converted into a makeshift hospital with a maximum capacity of 4000 beds in order to cope with the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the capital.

There are approximately 15 000 foundation doctors in the UK. These doctors rotate through a mixture of predetermined medical and surgical specialties every 4 months over a period of 2 years after graduation from medical school.2 3 The rotations enable the doctors to gain a range …

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