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Little public understanding of seniority of doctors according to job title
  1. Geedi A Farah1,
  2. Paul Heaton2
  1. 1Paediatric Department, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ashford and St. Peter's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chertsey, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Department, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Yeovil, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Geedi A Farah, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Department, St. Peter's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey KT16 0PZ, UK; Gfarah{at}

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The National Health Service (NHS) doctors are required to carry photo-identification (ID) badges which also show information about the speciality and the grade of the doctor. Members of the public are able to see the name of the individual and may be able to gauge their level of experience from what is detailed on the badge.

For most NHS hospitals, there are usually three grades of seniority of doctors most likely encountered by the public. Prior to 2007, these posts were commonly referred to in the familiar terms of Senior House Officer for junior posts, Registrar or Specialist Registrar (SpR) for middle grades and Consultant for senior doctors. With the introduction of Modernising Medical Careers in 2007, these designations became much more complex and variable, often including abbreviations and numbers (FY1-2, ST1-8, …

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  • Contributors GF: Paediatric Registrar. PH: Consultant Paediatrician. GF and PH designed the study and drafted the manuscript; GF conducted the survey.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.