Novice Doctors in the Emergency Department: A Scoping Review

P. Stassen*, D. Westerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


In many emergency departments (EDs), young, inexperienced doctors treat patients who are critically ill. At the start of their career, these novice doctors are not sufficiently qualified to take care of these potentially critically ill patients in the highly demanding environment of an ED. This not only poses a threat to the wellbeing of the doctor, who feels inadequately prepared and experiences a lot of stress, but also to that of the patients, who may not receive optimal care. Lastly, young doctors may influence the efficiency of the organization, with longer throughput times, more orders of ancillary investigations, and more admissions.Training novice doctors with regard to simple or complex skills using simulation techniques is part of the solution. However, the transfer of newly learned skills to clinical practice remains unexplored, and not everything can be trained before the actual skill is required. Therefore, it is important to train young doctors in their learning abilities, for instance, teach them how to be adaptive and how to use their skills in new situations. Lastly, the way care is organized is essential. Good supervision, leaving room for the learning processes of young doctors, developing a team with more experienced professionals (paramedics, nurses, and doctors), and well-organized processes, aiming to reduce the complexity of the work, are ways to improve the quality of care, independent of the experience level of the novice doctor.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26245
Number of pages6
JournalCureus Journal of Medical Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022


  • organization
  • preparation for future learning
  • preparedness training
  • emergency department
  • novice doctors


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