We are now recruiting for the first time to new specialty and general practice programmes set up under modernising medical careers. They will begin in August 2007. Programmes will vary in length from three to seven years and will be governed by new curricula approved by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB). Many of the doctors taking up places in the new programmes will have undertaken previous training and consequently will not need to start the new programmes at the beginning. We have made provision for them to compete for entry into the new programmes during the second or third years of those programmes. It is unlikely that many will qualify, that is, achieve a certificate of completion of training (issued by PMETB), in 2007. The needs of the national health service in 2007 and 2008 will, in the main, be met by the output of existing training programmes that will run alongside the modernising medical careers programmes for the time being.