The foundation years

In this chapter, I would like to share with the reader my own experiences of being a foundation doctor, and what one can expect after graduating from medical school.

The years of hard work at medical school are now behind you. The graduation ceremony seems now to be a distant memory, and all too soon the day that you had once dreamed of when joining medical school is appearing ever closer. Summer is fading and soon August will be upon us.

Those were my thoughts as I pondered about joining as a foundation year 1 doctor, or pre-registration house officer (PRHO) as it was known in the past. The PRHO year was the year prior to gaining full registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). The foundation years continue this tradition, but now, while being provisionally registered with the GMC, one has to undertake a competency-based two-year programme prior to any further specialist postgraduate training. The role of the foundation years is to build and consolidate generic skills that are considered essential to all doctors, regardless of their future speciality. Many of the finer points of this new process continue to evolve and so are beyond the scope of any book. However, much of the process is described in the Chapter on Career pathways in medicine and surgery’.

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