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Job description for a senior house officer

Updated February 21, 2017

A senior house officer is a classification of a doctor found in the United Kingdom but not in the United States. They are junior doctors, similar to residents in the United States, who are in training to become specialists.

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Like residencies in the United States, senior house officers work with trained doctors to learn and gain hands-on experience before opening their own practice or joining a hospital staff.

Time Frame

Being a senior house officer is a temporary job. Most posts last a few months at a time, as senior house officers often work in a few different hospitals and clinics during the term of their apprenticeship.


According to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, senior house officers often serve as the principal surgeon on many routine operations. These procedures include appendectomies, varicose vein surgeries and more.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

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