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Hi Dr Ethan
Just out of curiosity, could you share with us the career progression of a doctor in Singapore? I am confused by terms like HO, MO, Resident, Registrar, etc. Someone close got admitted to the hospital recently, and I would like to better understand the hierarchy to make sure I am speaking to the right person.
Does everyone eventually progress into a consultant/senior consultant? How long does one take to reach each stage? I am asking because we got assigned an associate consultant and are not sure whether the doctor has sufficient experience to help us (the doctor looks really young).
Thanks so much!
A HO or house officer is a PGY1 (Post Graduate Year 1, ie he has been a doctor for 1 year since graduating).
An MO or medical officer is PGY2 and above. When he gets a residency training position, he’s known as a resident. Some doctors never get training, so you can get very old MOs. Oldest I’ve seen is PGY6 plus.
Registrars are typically PGY4 – PGY6. May be older if they only got accepted to training later on.
Associate consultant are registrars who have completed their residency training. Typically PGY7 at least. Often older. So I would say that he definitely has enough experience/expertise, because he would have had to clear all his exams to exit the training programme. He’d also have been a doctor for at least 7 years, and clocked many many hours by doing on call duties etc. Guess Asians just look young in general..
And no, not everyone progresses if you either do not get specialist training in the first place, or you fail your exit exams.