Saturday, 24 March 2007

Ridiculous fudged MTAS wheeled forward

The latest on MTAS is nothing short of a disgrace. There is another fudge of the process and a letter from Alan Crockard.

The latest absurd modifications to MTAS insinuate that all applicants will get their first choice interview, however that is it. If candidates have already been interviewed for their first choice with a different interview structure then this is going to be unfairly compared to the new candidates who will have a different interview structure. Also candidates will have no more than one bite at the cherry, if they have had interviews for their 2nd/3rd/4th choice of job then it is suggested that these will be scrubbed.

This is truly absurd, as well as being unfair; it also turns the process into a gigantic game of poker where bluff and double bluff will come into play. Will top candidates choose to use their golden bullet in a ultra competitive UoA (unit of application), or will they exploit the competition ratios and apply to a less competitive UoA to increase their job chances? The truth is that no one knows the answer to these questions and this makes MTAS nothing more than a tombola.

This is no meritocratic system, as by having no short listing at all the best candidates hold no advantage over the worst candidates, as everyone is handed their their one golden bullet. They are in effect saying that we have one chance and one chance only at the career we want, after years and years of grinding towards this goal. The lack of any decent short listing is unacceptable and it means that all it comes down to is one thirty minute interview. The potential for many excellent candidates to be overlooked in favour of deficient candidates is enormous, as the process is no way near thorough enough to adequately discriminate between candidates.

Those behind this farce must resign at once. There is no other option but to scrap MTAS round 1 completely and revert to the old tried and tested system. Does anyone seriously believe that MTAS is its current modified form is fairer than the old system? If you do then you are either a member of the review panel or one of the elite group of junior doctors consulted on MMC.

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