This article assesses the quality of higher psychiatric training opportunities under Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) and compares them with the existing specialist registrar (SpR) grade; the UK psychiatric educational literature is reviewed, and trainee concerns reported. Anecdotal reports of higher training losses under MMC suggest disparity between specialty training year 4 (ST4) and the first SpR year. the roles, controversies and losses of protected clinical special interest sessions and the research day are reviewed. UK psychiatric literature notes underutilisation and poor supervision of these highly valued protected training sessions, with suggestions for improvement. the sacrifice of protected training to service provision may have implications for training quality, leading to under-trained consultants in the long term, to the detriment of patients.