Apr 6, 2014
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In Britain’s health service a consultant is the senior career post for a fully accredited specialist. He or she normally sees patients referred by general practitioners – hence the historical term ‘consultant’ – or emergency cases admitted direct to hospital. NHS consultants are also allowed to do a certain amount of private practice if they wish. After qualification and a two-year period of general supervised training, doctors enter onto a specialist training scheme, working in hospitals for 5–8 years before being accredited; many also do research or spend some time working abroad. All must pass difficult higher examinations. In 2004, the number of consultant hospital medical and dental staff in Great Britain was 30,650 (some of these worked part-time, so the whole-time equivalent [w.t.e.] figure was 25,640). The total number of hospital medical and dental staff was 86,996

(w.t.e. 78,462).

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Medical Dictionary

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