Foundation doctor

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A Foundation doctor (FY1 or FY2) is a grade of medical practitioner in the United Kingdom undertaking the Foundation Programme – a two-year, general postgraduate medical training programme which forms the bridge between medical school and specialist/general practice training. Being a Foundation Doctor is compulsory for all newly qualified medical practitioners in the UK from 2005 onwards. The grade of Foundation Doctor has replaced the traditional grades of pre-registration house officer and senior house officer.

Foundation doctors have the opportunity to gain experience in a series of posts in a variety of specialties and healthcare settings. Learning objectives for each stage are specific and focused on demonstration of clinical competences. Emphasis was on the assessment and management of acutely ill patients, but changes in the curriculum have stressed that chronic conditions are also important. Training also encompasses the generic professional skills applicable to all areas of medicine – team work, time management, communication and IT skills.

Medical career grades of the National Health Service
Old system New system (Modernising Medical Careers)
Year 1: Pre-registration house officer (PRHO) - one year Foundation Doctor (FY1 and FY2) - 2 years
Year 2: Senior house officer (SHO)
a minimum of two years, although often more
Year 3: Specialty Registrar (SpR)
in a hospital speciality:
minimum six years
Specialty Registrar (GPST)
in general practice:
three years
Year 4: Specialist registrar
four to six years
GP registrar- one year
Year 5: General practitioner
total time in training: 4 years
Years 6-8: General practitioner
total time in training:
5 years
Year 9: Consultant
total time in training:
minimum 7-9 years
total time in training:
minimum 8 years
Optional Training may be extended by pursuing
medical research (usually two-three years),
usually with clinical duties as well
Training is competency based, times shown are a minimum.
Training may be extended by obtaining an Academic Clinical
Fellowship for research or by dual certification in another speciality.

Foundation Year 1 (FY1/F1/FHO1)[edit]

This year replaces what was known as Pre-registration house officer. In the first year of Foundation Training, FY1s rotate through three or four jobs in different hospital specialties. The General Medical Council specify that every FY1 must complete at least three months of general medicine. Until 2007, it was also required for all FY1s to complete at least three months of general surgery, and therefore most programmes still include this. The rest of the year may be made up of further time spent in general medicine or general surgery, or time spent in other specialties (but not in general practice).

Foundation Year 2 (FY2/F2/FHO2)[edit]

The first year of the posts in other specialties, such as general practice, emergency medicine, paediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics or pathology. The training builds on what has been achieved during the previous year. FY2s will sometimes also refer to themselves as SHOs and will be in the SHO rota. Although some departments have separate rotas for GPVTS trainees and FY2s and a separate rota for specialist trainees.

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