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Neurological Letter from Scotland
  1. Richard Davenport
  1. University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK; email: rjd{at}


Although a letter from Scotland might at first seem rather less exciting than from the previous more exotic locations, the subject is one that I believe troubles neurologists worldwide – how should we best train doctors to become good, even excellent, neurologists? Most (although not all) of my own training took place in the UK, and I shall focus on the changes occurring here, along with a commentary on the advantages and disadvantages of the new system.

For many years in the UK, junior doctors in all specialities were ‘trained’ in an apprenticeship system. This meant long hours with often vicious on call rotas, and little organized teaching. Junior doctors, mostly working in service orientated posts, became good (or bad) senior doctors. Once they had completed their general medical training (three years minimum after their first year residency in medicine and surgery), and obtained the relevant qualification (Membership of the Royal

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