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Clinical specialty training in UK undergraduate medical schools: a retrospective observational study
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  • Published on:
    Response to Clinical specialty training in UK undergraduate medical schools: a retrospective observational study
    • Shujhat H Khan, Medical student Imperial College London
    • Other Contributors:
      • Taha H Shiwani, Medical student
      • Areeb A Mian, Medical student
      • Ali Omar, Medical student

    Dear Editor,

    In contrast with prior literature - which only focused on a limited number of specialties - HJ Vaidya et al (1) demonstrated that medical students who have a longer placement period in a particular speciality are no more likely to pursue a career in that speciality. The study has important implications, and the authors should be commended, as it suggests that increasing exposure to clinical specialties during medical school will not solve current recruitment pressures.

    Interestingly, the authors chose to incorporate specialties such as clinical radiology and public health within the statistical analysis. However we question the reliability of the subsequent results, given the small number of medical schools that offered placements in those specialities.

    By using the number of weeks allocated to a particular speciality by each medical school, the authors created a useful, objective metric that could be used for statistical analysis. However, upon reading, we noted that it may not wholly reflect a student’s exposure to that speciality during their placement. In our experience as medical students, we feel that due consideration must be given to the quality of a clinical placement as well as it’s duration. The hospital in which a student is based, the medical team that they shadow, and the student’s experience are but some of the factors that may influence the degree of a student’s involvement on a particular firm, thereby influencing their e...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.