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October 11, 2016

Lessons to Be Learned From the UK Junior Doctors’ Strike

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Registrar, Royal College of Physicians, London, United Kingdom
JAMA. 2016;316(14):1445-1446. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12029

Over the past 2 years, the UK government and the medical profession’s trade union, the British Medical Association (BMA), have been locked in dispute over new contracts for both junior doctors—the UK equivalents of residents, interns, and fellows—and for consultants—hospital-based physicians who have completed specialist training. The junior doctor contract has proven particularly difficult to negotiate, and unpopular proposed contracts have resulted in strikes by junior doctors including the first ever all-out strikes in the history of the National Health Service (NHS). How did it get to this impasse and what can be learned?