MMC and MTAS – real stories, real doctors

The sheer bloody dignity of those involved, their stoicism under fire, reduces me to tears every now and again.   Here are some of the comments that have moved me the most.  I’m adding them to the top as I come across them.


 My son has been trying to explain why he might be going off to the antipodes.  I don’t mind, I’ve long fancied a treck around Australia and Diving off the West Coast. But what a bloody waste. He’s a good doctor and has been shortlisted but is still so frustrated! I know the other political parties are probably as bad and keeping very quiet, but perhaps now people will wake up to what the party of envy (Labour) are really about. Whilst putting all these doctors out of the medicine, I don’t suppose this tosspot government will have the good grace to cancel the student debts still to be paid off?? – Comment  by Vincent Sutcliffe on A Patients’ Guide – Part 2.


 I was at clinic today and saw one of the SHOs, lovely guy, he was sitting waiting for news. He did say that “big things are happening in the NHS today” when I pointed out he hadn’t signed the script form. Then I asked if he was under MMC and it all became clear. I hope he gets a post as he was bloody marvellous today.  Comment on Dr Crippen’s blog on the day the MTAS interviews were announced. 


One particular junior doctor was seen crying quietly in a corner on Monday, coming to terms with having no interviews and perhaps no career. She was in clinic at the time and had taken 5 minutes to check out her future on the MTAS website, 5 minutes after learning her fate she was back seeing patients, doing what she wants to do, what she deserves to do, what she is needed for but what the system might stop her doing come August. – I’m a Medical Student – Get me Out of Here 


One of my friends … has been shortlisted for two posts (in the same specialty). One in Birmingham, and one in the north of the country. The Northern interview was on two days in March, but the second day was already full by the time he was able to log on to MTAS. Birmingam’s interview for his specialty, unfortunately coincides with the first day. There is no way he can get to this big northern town from Birmingham in time. The Northern hospital won’t even give him a time slot at the end of the day to make it possible for him to appear in their interview by some miracle on the roads or the railways.   

He has been told that it is bad luck, but he will have to choose one interview out of the two.   Comment by “Surgical Reg” on Dr Crippen’s blog


As a third year student, we were on the wards today when the SHO opened her mail to discover that interview for her specialty were scheduled for the same day in the Yorkshire and West of Scotland areas. Its not a large specialty (Rheumatology) so this seems a little weird. 

Neither is allowed to change it’s dates due to a protocol … So the chances of a morning interview in Leeds, a 200 mile drive and an afternoon interview in Glasgow seem remote. She said she was not the only SHO in this situation.

Interview dates were published after the SHO’s had ranked their choices, thus they did not know which interview dates would conflict.

It’s crazy…   Comment by dyb on Dr Crippen’s blog


Unsurprisingly, like many of my colleagues I was not shortlisted for a single interview in this first round of job applications. In fact, of the seven junior trainees in my department, only one of us has been shortlisted for any jobs. Yet our unit is one of the leading tertiary referral centres in the UK.  Paul Malone in a letter to the Times (My italics).


The second station [at my interview] involved ‘Communication Skills’. It was awful. First, I had to fold a piece of paper according to verbal instructions. It did not make a crane – perhaps I did it wrong? Then I was given a random series of shapes on a piece of paper and had to describe them to another Consultant for her to draw them. Hmmph. Goodness only knows how I did on this station. I felt stupid and I know that I didn’t show how well I can actually communicate about real things. What I don’t understand is how this is supposed to supply them with reasonable doctors. If I did it all wrong, am I a bad Doctor? If I did it right, should you fast track me to a Consultant’s post?

Bloody weird. – Junior Docspot – Origami Anyone?


This morning, we beat the dawn chorus of birds.
The laptop on, the website checked.
As anticipated by us (why the hell not by the IT Techs??), the website crashed.

As feared, a second delay – the shortlist still not finalized.

I watched her this morning as she sat, hands visibly shaking and her pallor literally grey as she waited for news.
Tears overcame her at one point as silently both our stomachs knotted and cold dread filled our lives.

So our day passed.
Comments read on DNUK – emotive comments of anger and anguish, frustration and terror.
Please do not dismiss this emotiveness but consider the following.
These doctors, so calm in the face of lives fading, so calm in pulling lives back from oblivion – what does it tell us about them – about MTAS – if they are reduced to such blatant raw emotion?

Something has gone horribly horribly wrong.

Tonight we sit, as it nears midnight, no closer to knowing our futures than we did when we shared the dawn with the birds this morning.
Tonight we sit, both knowing that hospitals are already dangerously understaffed and patients – people like you and I, there but for the grace of God – are right here and now losing their lives needlessly.
Tonight we sit helpless.

The horrible irony being that with all she is, this situation should never be.
She should be part of a team, inspired and energized, proud and focused, saving lives with competence and trust.  – Comment on Dr Crippen’s blog. Incidentally the SHO in question has not been offered interviews and faces an uncertain future.


I’ll add others that move me particularly to the top of this list as I find them.

2 responses to “MMC and MTAS – real stories, real doctors

  1. i have seen it before – the destruction of the medical profession. in my native germany, the socialists started to open the gates of med school wide in the 1970s, no matter how overcrowded the place became. the aim: produce an inflationary surplus of junior doctors – and then screw them at leisure. here, just as it was at home: the seniors of the day turned out to be the traitors who made it all possible. it is a ghastly deja vu …

  2. Which only makes me feel worse.

    You’d think, one day, there’d be enough laws and they wouldn’t have to make any more.

    Thank you for commenting Chris.

    Aphra.

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