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Sports medicine is a relatively new and rapidly growing specialty that as yet does not have an organised postgraduate training programme. Currently, doctors enter sports medicine from a variety of backgrounds and rely on ad hoc training. If sports medicine is to be encompassed in the NHS, it is important to address the issue of training and organise effective postgraduate training in the specialty. Sports medicine has the opportunity to develop a training programme from a “clean slate”, uncomplicated by existing practice. The specialty therefore has the potential to learn from other examples of good practice and avoid some of the problems experienced with higher specialist training in other specialties.
Postgraduate medical education refers to education provided after full registration and before consultant appointment or equivalent career grade. Medical education should be seen as a continuum, with postgraduate medical education supplementing undergraduate education and being continued after appointment to a career post as continuing medical education.1 There have been major reforms in the United Kingdom's postgraduate medical education during the last decade, prompted in part by demands for greater harmonisation with other European states.2 There has also been increasing realisation of the importance of self directed learning and development of life long learning skills to allow the doctor to keep pace with continually changing medical knowledge.3 Previous ad hoc individually organised postgraduate medical education has been replaced in various specialties by structured training programmes providing shorter and more focused training with a predominance of education over service provision.4 …
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