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Provision of undergraduate otorhinolaryngology teaching within General Medical Council approved UK medical schools: what is current practice?

  • M M Khan (a1) and S R Saeed (a2)



Despite longstanding concern, provision of undergraduate ENT teaching has not improved in response to the aims of the UK General Medical Council's initiative Tomorrow's Doctors. Previous studies have demonstrated poor representation of ENT within the undergraduate curriculum. We aimed to identify current practice in order to establish undergraduate ENT experience across UK medical schools, a timely endeavour in light of the General Medical Council's new 2011–2013 education strategy.


Questionnaires were sent to ENT consultants, medical school deans and students. All schools with a clinical curriculum were anonymously represented. Our outcome measures were the provision of mandatory or optional ENT placements, and their duration and content.


A compulsory ENT placement was available to over half (53 per cent) of the students. Ten of the 26 participating schools did not offer an ENT attachment. The mean mandatory placement was 8 days. Overall, 38 per cent of students reported a satisfactory compulsory ENT placement. Most ENT consultants questioned considered that newly qualified doctors were not proficient in managing common ENT problems that did not require specialist referral.


Little improvement in the provision of undergraduate ENT teaching was demonstrated. An increase in the proportion of students undertaking ENT training is necessary. Time and curriculum constraints on medical schools mean that optimisation of available resources is required.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr M M Khan, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sharoe Green Lane, Preston PR2 9HT, UK E-mail:


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Provision of undergraduate otorhinolaryngology teaching within General Medical Council approved UK medical schools: what is current practice?

  • M M Khan (a1) and S R Saeed (a2)


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