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Junior doctors in the United Kingdom are those in postgraduate training, starting at graduation with a medical degree and culminating in a post as a Consultant, a General Practitioner, or some other non-training post, such as a Staff grade or Associate Specialist post. The term junior doctor might be considered misleading. It includes skilled doctors with years of National Health Service experience of treating patients. The ways in which these doctors work and train is undergoing significant changes in the UK. Average hours worked per week are falling as a result of pressures from junior doctors themselves and concerns about fatigue resulting in medical mistakes. In 1991 the government, the NHS and the British Medical Association agreed a package of measures on working hours, pay and conditions which was called the New Deal for Junior Doctors. This restricted these doctors' hours to a maximum average of 56 hours actual work and 72 hours on call duty per week, although it was not enforced until December 1st 2000. The European Working Time Directive requires the average working week to fall to 48 hours or less by 2009.The shortening of junior doctors' working hours means that the quantity of experience they can gain during training is less, although the quality is higher as to lower fatigue levels enable superior mental retention of skills and experiences.New and extended roles in other clinical professions are blurring demarcation between what a doctor and, for example, some nurses can do. Shorter duty shifts demand closer teamwork across professions and effective handovers. Medicine is becoming more specialised, but more cross-cover between specialties at night is needed to preserve doctors' working time during days and evenings, when most patient care and learning under supervision takes place.The number of years of postgraduate training is set to reduce under the plans for Modernising Medical Careers, which will require doctors to decide which specialty to follow sooner after graduation. The interaction with health care managers (who are not usually doctors in the UK) has changed during recent years to involve doctors in the running of hospital specialty groups and community-based practice. More developed leadership and financial training is required to equip doctors with the skills to manage budgets and responsibilities.
Salary The average starting salary for a medical graduate is £32,086 . In the first year of training a junior doctor earns a base salary of £20,741, rising to £25,882 in the second year. This base is increased 20% to 80% by bonuses based on working more than 40 hours a week, work load, and anti-social hours. A graduate starting specialist training will earn between £29,000 and £44,000.After 5 years the average junior doctor will have advanced to specialist registrar grade, earning an average salary of £48,000.
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