Saturday, 31 March 2007

Another bomb dropped on MMC headquarters

This is a letter sent by the ex-medical student adviser to MMC to Alan Crockard on 18/3/2007.

"Dear Alan,

I am sorry to inform you at what must be an impossibly busy time that I wish to resign from my position as medical student advisor.

When I took the position I had many reservations with the MMC systems but believed that I would be able to help students get the best deal from these changes. Seven months on, I retain these reservations and regret that I have not been able to have the impact I had imagined.

Now as then (when I presented you with a petition signed by 1300 students), I believe:
• The nature of the new application system effectively randomises medical students to jobs across the country
• The importance of academic achievement has been downgraded
• The importance of other achievements at medical school has been nullified by the nebulous nature of questions and the lack of a CV
• Two years is not long enough to decide on one’s specialty, to gain a broad enough range of experience, to become a good enough doctor: pressure is on to decide early, but the random nature of the application leaves no scope for strategising or planning ahead
• Morale at medical schools is low; they are not the aspirational, centres of excellence they should be, rather ‘centres of competence’
• This anxiety has filtered down to those students considering applying for a place at medical school

Through contact with a wide range of students over the last seven months, I know that these views are widely held. Just two nights ago, I talked to a Bristol student representing a group of 40 who echoed my above sentiments. I have, however, come to realise that continuing to transmit such views to the MMC team can have no effect as it is focused on the successful implementation of a system rather than the guiding principles and details of that system.

In my limited experience, the role of student advisor is not used, as MMC aspires, to ‘encourage dialogue with the stakeholders’. Instead the role seems to be a token attempt to suggest the involvement of students in MMC strategy; a publicity vehicle to lend validity to a system that has not, in fact, considered student opinion and insight at all.

When I was asked recently to find some students / SHOs who were happy with the new system to help build some positive press, I knew this role was not for me. I am not interested in spin or image, in making something seem other than it is. I am interested – perhaps naively - in getting the popular voice heard and acted upon and in standing by my own personal, political and professional principles. I now realise that in order to do this effectively, I need to be working within a different framework.

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to fill the role and personally wish you all the very best for the future. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed meeting you and having the chance to work with you and the team as a whole.

Yours Sincerely"

What a comprehensive assassination of MMC. As he says, they are downgrading what should matter and deliberately churning out propaganda while only attempting a token consultation. Alan Crockard resigned on 30/03/2007, I wonder how much this letter had an effect.


Anonymous said...

I definately for one feel that the MMC Systems have been playing a significant role in the medical school and applicants on jobs

They have come a long way since 2007 and have adressed these issues

Anonymous said...

Clinical Fellow / Trust posts
Many of you will be applying for clinical fellow / Trust grade posts with interviews conducted at a local Trust level. Many of these posts are proving to be very competitive, as the risk of unemployment is greater for doctors now than it ever has been. Furthermore, many non training jobs have near-identical opportunities for professional learning and development, and many doctors find these to be a useful springboard to achieve training posts in the future. However you still have to submit a CV for shortlisting and be interviewed competitively.

Perhaps most importantly, we have interviewed doctors for many years, and know exactly what is being looked for in candidates. We can prepare you thoroughly for interview.

Much of the time, your interviewers will have sat on ST / SpR panel interviews and will use a similar question style and scoring system for appointments. Attending this course will give you the necessary insight into the interview process to give yourself the best chance of securing a post.

MMC Systems

Anonymous said...

MMC Systems and MTAS have suffered as a result of inadequate planning and expediting a system that was not thoroughly tested