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What does it mean when the hospital send you a letter saying they need you to see an 'associate specialist'?

(10 Posts)
foxinsocks Sat 19-Sep-09 16:43:26

I go to a general ENT clinic. Had an appointment in July where they did loads of scans (had a severe open commuted fracture of my nose in the 90s).

They gave me a follow up appointment for Sept. When I had the scans, the lady patted me on the back and said 'don't worry dear, your scans will be ready tomorrow'. When i said they were only seeing me again in Sept, they looked a bit concerned. I brushed it off as I hate health matters and thought I might be reading more into it than was there lol.

Then I got a letter saying my appointment had to be delayed till November and I was really upset as I've been in quite a lot of pain recently and am on a high steroid inhaled dose at the moment.

So then I got a letter saying they had reviewed my file and needed to see me much sooner and could I come in next Monday, the soonest appointment they have, to see an 'associate specialist'.

What does that mean? Is that a surgeon or just someone else in the team?

NoahDear Sat 19-Sep-09 16:45:27

one in a suit singing "party fears two"?

NoahDear Sat 19-Sep-09 16:46:19

i am hopelesslyuselss arent i
old times sake

my guess would be 'associate specialist' means a specialist that deals with certain areas, and therefore not your normal consultant. DH has a specialist and an consultant iyswim, consultant is genernal in that area overall, but specilaist, is just for one part. does that make sense hmm

Guimauve Sat 19-Sep-09 16:48:45

Associate specialist is similar to a registrar.

bigstripeytiger Sat 19-Sep-09 16:50:30

An associate specialist is not a consultant, but is someone who has been working in the specialty for a significant length of time, so that in many ways they are able to perform as a consultant would.

foxinsocks Sat 19-Sep-09 17:05:07

lol noah, you old codger

thanks everyone. Ahh that makes sense. Thought they might be carting me off on the trolley! Hate hospitals!

thirdname Sat 19-Sep-09 17:41:06

bigstripeytiger comes closed. In general certainly more expiereienced than registrar

foxinsocks Sat 19-Sep-09 17:58:38

thanks . Hope it is nothing too serious.

Highlander Sun 20-Sep-09 09:10:24

an associate specialist has not been through a registrar training programme. They have junior consultant status and are either really good or pretty dire.

Their history arises from racism in the NHS when doctors from the Indian subcontinent were failing to secure a place on a registrar training scheme. They were generally taken on as staff grades and rose through the ranks from there.

In recent years, some doctors who have passed their post-graduate exams have chosen the associate specialist route for lifestyle reasons - they don't want all the admin hassles of being a consultant.

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