This is an initiative developed from Unfinished Business, Sir Liam Donaldson’s proposals to reform the Senior House Officer (SHO) grade. This, in its turn, follows on from the modernisation of the undergraduate medical curriculum that arose from the GMC document Tomorrow’s Doctors.
After graduating, Doctors will undertake an integrated, two-year Foundation Programme which will focus on generic competencies and the management of acute illness. This programme will act as a bridge between undergraduate and specialist medical education. Doctors will obtain full GMC registration on successfully completing the first year of the Foundation Programme. The curriculum is available on the MMC website: http://www.mmc.nhs.uk and has just been published as an A4 book, which is currently being distributed.
The Foundation Year 2 programme in Psychiatry is currently being piloted and the first evaluation, carried out in November 2004, found it to have been an interesting and enjoyable experience and, in almost every aspect, a considerable success. All the assessment in Foundation Year 2 is workplace based and the 4 methods that have been selected are likely to continue as major assessment instruments throughout specialist training. These methods are:
· Mini CEX (Clinical Evaluation Exercise, observed clinical encounter)
· Mini PAT (Peer Assessment Tool, similar to 360º assessment)
· Case based discussion (CbD, developed from chart stimulated recall)
· Direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS).
The Royal Colleges of Physicians have recently announced their intention to use 3 of these methods during specialist training, and it is likely that the Royal College of Psychiatrists will use mini-CEX, mini-PAT and CbD throughout training. For more information on MMC, including the 4 assessment methods and samples of the rating forms, please see the their website at http://www.mmc.nhs.uk. These rating forms have changed very recently. They now allow different standards to be applied in F1 and F2, whereas previously they used the F2 exit standard as the benchmark throughout the entire Foundation programme.