Bad role models lead junior doctors to regret choice of career

September 26, 2002

Bad role models can lead junior doctors to regret their choice of career, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

The majority of consultants in the UK act as supervisors for junior doctors. They are entrusted with the educational supervision of doctors in their first year of practice and are responsible for inculcating the principles of good medical practice.

Researchers from the University of London conducted a confidential survey of preregistration house officers across the UK. Respondents were asked to describe an exchange with a supervising consultant that had seemed important or interesting and to tell the researchers how they felt about it.

In 59 per cent of cases the described exchange was positive, with the house officer being praised, taught, given career advice, support or offered examples of excellent patient care. In these cases the house officers admired and respected their consultants, they were likely to feel happy in their choice of medicine as a career and to believe they would make good doctors.

Over 20 per cent of house officers described a consultant behaving badly towards them by making unreasonable demands, bullying, being unfair, or being sexist. In a further 7 per cent of cases the consultant was portrayed as incompetent, insensitive or negligent towards patients. These house officers lacked respect for their consultant and were most likely to regret their choice of medicine as a career.

A healthy mentoring relationship is likely to provide the mental and moral challenges essential to continuing self improvement. However some senior doctors have a poor attitude towards educational supervision, causing confusion, distress and anger in doctors under their supervision.

The researchers conclude that role models may not be a dependable way to impart professional values, attitudes and behaviours and suggest these attributes should be explicitly taught through peer group discussion and by trained mentors.


Related Choice Articles from Brightsurf:

Dogs are sensitive to their owners' choice despite their own preference
Inspired by work on infants, researchers investigated whether dogs' behaviors are guided by human displays of preference or by the animals' own choices.

Editors' Choice in Science: an unusual superconductor
Professor Wang Jian at Peking University and collaborators observed the experimental evidence of anomalous metallic state and detected type-II Ising superconductivity existing in centrosymmetric systems.

Towards prosperous public goods with freedom of choice
An experimental game reveals that having the freedom to choose preferred public goods greatly increases their value by motivating more, and better, provisioning.

How sexual competition and choice could protect species from extinction
New research shows that removing sexual competition and choice through enforced monogamy creates populations that are less resilient to environmental stress, such as climate change.

Choice of anesthesia may affect breast cancer metastases
A new study led by Stony Brook University Cancer Center researchers to be published in Nature Communications suggests that the choice of anesthesia may change the metastatic process of breast cancer by affecting the cytokine and microenvironment.

Evidence backs women's choice on where to have their babies
Healthy women have more than twice the chance of a normal labour and birth in a planned birth centre birth compared to a planned hospital birth, a major Australian study has found.

Tomorrow's coolants of choice
Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating.

Gene regulation behind the choice of the correct receptor for olfaction
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have uncovered the genetics behind two distinct types of olfactory sensory neurons; the so called 'class I olfactory neurons' that has persisted from aquatic to terrestrial animals and the 'class II olfactory neurons' that only terrestrial animals possess.

Go for a run or eat chocolate: A choice dictated by the cannabinoid receptors
A study by Inserm and CNRS researchers published on March 7, 2019 in JCI Insight reveals that the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors play an essential role in the choice between running and eating chocolatey food.

Faced with choice overload, Indian farmers say, 'I'll have what he's having'
After the Indian government liberalized its economy, shops stocking a previously controlled market of public agricultural goods were suddenly flooded with new private brands.

Read More: Choice News and Choice Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to