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Comparison of experiences of military foundation doctors in defence and civilian general practice
  1. James Bapty1,
  2. Ben Smith2,
  3. A Noakes3,
  4. G Dyke2 and
  5. T Holland4
  1. 1Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Portsmouth, UK
  2. 2Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley, UK
  3. 3University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4Academic Department of Military General Practice, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Bapty, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Portsmouth, PO6 3LY, UK; james.bapty{at}

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A general duties medical officer (GDMO) requires a broad skillset used both in the firm base and operationally. While the UK Armed Forces possess a majority young, medically prescreened, male population,1 deployed care frequently involves care of patients of all ages, who may have comorbidities in challenging situations. Experience among military clinicians in treating vulnerable groups, notably paediatrics, is reported as underdeveloped.2 The population at risk on future UK operations is predicted to include vulnerable groups with clinicians requiring skills in paediatrics, geriatrics and obstetrics.3

Preparedness for GDMOs is delivered through a training continuum: medical school, the UK foundation programme and phase two training, which facilitates the transition from civilian to military-specific practice. Within the foundation programme, military doctors complete either a civilian or Defence Primary Healthcare …

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  • JB and BS are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @baptyjames

  • JB and BS contributed equally.

  • Contributors JB conceptualised the project. JB and BS subsequently contributed equally to all aspects of the project and are joint first authors. TH provided guidance throughout and provided critical thought in drafting the manuscript. AN and GD assisted in data collection and manuscript preparation. JB and BS are guarantors for the overall content. All authors approved the final manuscript. Defence Professor of General Practice Surgeon Captain Katie King kindly provided advice for the project.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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