“You may already have lost….”

Kiss my MTASSYet another MTAS horror story. This is all moving too fast to keep up with.

The recent announcement by MTAS guarantees all doctors one interview at the deanery of their choice, and at the same time it abolishes Round 2. If you have already been interviewed by more than one deanery, you can choose which deanery you want to consider you. Your application will be withdrawn from the other deaneries.

This puts candidates who have already attended more than one interview in an obscurely difficult position.

When the candidates were selected for those interviews, it was still officially assumed that the MTAS form had fairly selected the better applicants; Round 2 would plug gaps if there were any unfilled spaces. By the time the interviews were taking place the official line had changed: it was decided to actively keep places open for Round 2. Now, three or four weeks after the first interviews were conducted, Round 2 has been abandoned and Round 1 has been extended. So the expectations of the interviewers about the availability and assumed quality of alternative candidates has been turned head over heels several times during this process.

I’ve just been contacted by a junior doctor who has been through this mill:

“I don’t know which deanery to put as my first choice. The interviewers had the option to tick a box saying that they would not employ you. I am really worried about this. After the Round 1 interviews were arranged, they decided that they had to keep places open for Round 2. I’m worried they ticked the box as often as they could to keep places open for Round 2. I said something really stupid in my question about [subject] to a Consultant [Specialist] who’s a known stickler. How do I know he’s not ticked the box in order to keep the place open for Round 2? If I say that Deanery’s my first choice, then I might choose a Deanery that kicked me out of the system just because they could. Before this, I only needed one job offer from one of them. Now I’ve got to guess which one it might be.” (My emphasis).

This is no madder, I suppose, than any other example of MTAS madness. But what a completely vile situation to be in.

If all of this is complete gibberish to you, you should be aware that the government initiative “Modernising Medical Careers” means that there are more specialist trainee junior doctors here now than the government is willing to provide training posts for in August. The government seems to want to use them as ward-fodder (though even that is uncertain) but perish the thought that they will help the junior docs broaden and deepen their skills with specialist training. The system which selects the lucky ones who will go to the ball, MTAS, is in the process of imploding under the weight of its manifold sins and wickednesses. In what other profession do you get one thirty minute chance and only one which determines the maximum level you can possibly achieve during the next forty years of your career? Very modern, I must say.

The rather fabulous picture accompanying this post comes from Cal whose blog is called Of Short White Coats and Stethoscopes.


6 responses to ““You may already have lost….”

  1. The example of the junior doctor as well as the Ftm Doctor’s post, show the choosing dilemma based on your interview/interviews. The lottery!

    For people already interviewed, I find it painful that the results are not out on April 19th as was announced 5/6 months(?) back. Just want to finish off and move on to other things in life. Fatigue and stress are mounting with very week and each dose of news.

    Not one of the authorities are saying a decent sorry or empathising. Surely, all the competant/hardworking authorities should know what kind of strain this mtas process is having on junior doctors.

    I had read most of the transcripts of Patricia Hewitt answering questions on MMC in Parliament. Today I watched the video for 5 mins and got sick of her evasive answers.

    Don’t know what news is gonna come next. I read some where that the changes will be announced speciality wise. The saga continues….

  2. I wonder does anyone know if you are told when you are offered a job in a deanery which hospital you will be based at or if you have to accept the job and then they tell you where you will be sent?
    I would be gratefully if anyone could fill me in on this.

  3. You might get a better response on Doctors.Net, though only medics can join. Otherwise, pop by Remedy or MMC360 and see what they think – Links under “Medics and Medical” on the left of the page.

    Good luck.


  4. Thanks for that Aphra I am not a medic so am not able to join doctors.net but will meander over to MMC360 and Remedy to have a look.

  5. Mums4Medics might know too.

    Good luck in finding out.


  6. Vikas, I didn’t mean to ignore you there. I’m sorry.

    I’m aware of people who were going to hang on and wait for the results of Round 1 who have since thought “fuck this for a game of soldier _ I’m going to see what’s out there” and who now have firm job offers – and very good ones – south of the equator. I do think that by the time that the UK offers are made, we’ll have lost our brightest, best and most mobile doctors. When businesses offer voluntary redundancy, it is always the most competent who have the get up and go to get up and go. This delay means that we loose the best of our doctors not the worst of them.

    Another thing I have noticed is doctors need to be needed. To be honest, it’s never bothered me that this country doesn’t particularly want me. I’ve still managed to make a living and pay my mortgage regardless of how the country feels about it. But I’ve heard several doctors say that one of the things that hurts is that there isn’t a place in this country for them, and that no-one wants them. I am beginning to think that this need to be needed might be a characteristic of the profession which makes the doctors particularly vulnerable in this whole shambles.

    I don’t have expletives bad enough to express my opinions any more.


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