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Left-handedness in UK cardiology training
  1. C Fielder Camm1,2,
  2. Zachariah Raouf1,
  3. Christopher J Allen2,3,4
  1. 1 Keble College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 British Junior Cardiologists' Association, London, UK
  3. 3 British Heart Foundation Centre of Excellence, Rayne Institute, King's College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Cardiology, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher J Allen, British Heart Foundation Centre of Excellence, Rayne Institute, King's College London, London, SE1 7EP, UK; christopher.allen{at}

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Only 9%–18% of individuals are left-handed.1 Historically, left-handedness has been considered undesirable with attempts to alter hand dominance in left-handed individuals.

Systematic biases in medicine favour right-handed individuals. This may be particularly pronounced in procedural specialties such as cardiology, where instruments and techniques are developed for right-handed individuals.2 While evidence suggests that left-handed trainees face significant barriers in surgical training,3 to date, no assessment of cardiology trainees has been undertaken. As only a minority of cardiologists are left-handed, training in left-handed techniques and understanding of potential left-handed difficulties may be limited.

Our study aimed to: examine the prevalence of left-handedness in UK cardiology trainees, assess perceived difficulty in training as a left-handed trainee and determine whether hand dominance was associated with subspecialty selection.


The British Junior Cardiologists’ Association (BJCA) is a trainee representative group for British cardiology trainees including those within recognised training programmes and those of similar grades outside of formal training programmes. The majority of cardiology trainees on formal training programmes (>90%) are members of the BJCA. An annual survey is conducted through the BJCA and sent to all current BJCA members and has previously been described.4 In 2021, specific questions relating to hand dominance and the effect of hand dominance on training were asked.

Χ2 analyses were used to assess differences between categorical variables. All analyses were predefined, and all those performed have been reported. Subset analysis of trainees at or above ST5 was performed to determine whether potential …

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  • Twitter @cfcamm, @dr_chrisallen

  • CFC and ZR contributed equally.

  • Contributors FC and CA were involved in the development of the survey and acquisition of survey data. FC, ZR and CA developed the analysis plan. All authors were involved in the interpretation of data and results. All authors contributed to the preparation and critical review, and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.