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 Your application will be withdrawn from the other deaneries.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.