A Junior House Officer (JHO, Houseman, Houseofficer) is a newly qualified doctor in the UK's National Health Service. Normally beginning his/her tenure on the first Wednesday in august, a JHO will have to work for 6 months in surgery and six months in general medicine to achieve full registration with the UK's General Medical Council and the coveted title of Senior House Officer (or SHO).

In these twelve months he/she will work up to 120 hours per week (depending on the hospital he's employed in), get paid a pittance and will be treated by his/her senior colleagues according to the Mushroom Principle: kept in the dark and have shit poured over him/her at every opportunity.

A bit like buggery in British public schools, this is a rite of passage for the young doctor, and one can be optimistic that if he/she doesn't break in these twelve months he/she'll be strong enough to go on. At least that's the theory.

What happens, of course, is that you grow a bunch of cynical, tired and unhappy young humans who compensate for their professional lives with alcohol and rob them of every idealistic fibre they preserved at medical school.

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