A diversity of settings during an apprenticeship period enhances an educational programme. Time spent on inpatient and outpatient services, in consultation in general hospital wards, and on child services leads to increased clinical competence. Local circumstances and settings can vary but do not make as crucial a difference as do the skills and commitments of teachers and students. Although some time—2to 3years—spent seeing a variety of patients is necessary for a thorough education, we have seen good results from centres with little diversity of settings and poor educational results from centres of great diversity. It is the people, not the places, that really count.

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