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Many med students work unsupervised

Updated onsdag 4 maj 2011 kl 12.55
Published onsdag 4 maj 2011 kl 09.16
Junior doctors lack supervision
(4:15 min)
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/Scanpix

More than half of all newly graduated doctors are allowed to do temporary work in hospitals without proper supervision while waiting for their internship to start, according to a new report from the Swedish Junior Doctors Association.

This could mean that patients are not getting the treatment they need fast enough and that unnecessary mistakes are made, Ulla Fryksmark, from the National Board on Health and Welfare, told Swedish Radio News.

After medical students finish their five and a half years of study, they are required to do a compulsory training programme (internship) of at least 18 months. The doctor's knowledge and skills are assessed by senior doctors and tested in a written examination. After successfully completing the programme, the doctor obtains his/her licence to practise and is allowed to apply for a post to start his/her specialist training, which lasts for a minimum of five years.

However a survey carried out by the Junior Doctors Association showed that many young doctors have to wait for their internship and carry out a job in hospitals while they wait for an opportunity. The survey showed that 82 percent of all doctors currently doing their internship have had temp work before, and out of them 63 percent say that they were not regularly supervised by a more experienced doctor.

Lena Ekelius, the President of the Swedish Junior Doctors Association, told Radio Sweden said that it is a very worrying statistic.

" We think it is very important that they have a supervisor that follows them all the way through, of course they won't be there physically all the time but it's important that they have someone they meet regularly and discuss problems such as ethical issues," she said.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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