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There should be no subconsultant specialist grade
Representatives of the United Kingdom's 35 000 junior hospital doctors have unanimously opposed the suggestion of a "subconsultant specialist grade." They called for the resignation of the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists if he did not retract the proposal and decided that if such a grade became a reality the BMA should ballot its members on industrial action.
Speakers at last week's junior doctors conference in London said that the proposal for the grade, which would be open to doctors who had obtained their certificate of completion of specialist training, would close the door to future consultant expansion.
The conference resolved that such a grade would be divisive, would undermine the value of specialist training, and was merely a device to enable the royal college to avoid its responsibilities for the workforce crisis in the specialty.
"I am beside myself with rage over this matter," Miss Fiona Kew, a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology in Middlesbrough, told the conference. The proposal had been made to try to solve the crisis in the specialty, where there were about 400 more specialist registrars than consultant posts. But it was not supported by the whole of the college or the trainees.
The chairman of the Junior Doctors Committee's negotiating subcommittee, Mr Nizam Mamode, believed that there were many senior doctors who did not want consultant expansion because it would dilute their private …