Monday, 18 June 2007
Take a moment
I am no longer shocked by news of this year's job application saga, many juniors have been beaten so brutally that they are no longer registering the pain. The farce does continue and indeed it gets worse.
Job offers have been made erroneously and retracted, candidates were not informed of their interviews, the faulty buddy scheme has led to couples being split up, the MTAS short listing scores have been used to discriminate between candidates and the rules have been changing on a daily basis. Meanwhile Round 2 jobs are now being opened up to application, strangely some deaneries are using exactly the same flawed questions that were used in the MTAS round 1 application forms. Those who have been lucky enough to have been offered the so called 'golden ticket' have not felt like celebrating, as it is not satisfying to have succeeded via such an unjust lottery-like process. It is also not appropriate to gloat or even feel joy when so many thousands are staring down the barrel of a double barreled shotgun.
The Department of Health seems to have finally registered that things have gone slightly awry, and they are running scared trying to minimise the damage. It is too little too late from these government incompetents, they should be hanging their heads in shame. Remedy have even been informed that the DoH is still planning to increase medical student numbers by 2000 a year, even when it is overtly clear that there is no room for them to continue their training in the UK. The DoH are proving to be a very dangerous mixture between the cynical and the utterly incompetent, a surefire recipe for disaster. Incidentally the DoH have still not made a decision as to whether they will force Remedy to pay costs.
It seems rather obvious that there are some rather cynical forces at work here, I can see no other explanation for the deliberate flooding of the medical workforce. PMETB have remained rather silent on the matter of MTAS and it seems they have withdrawn the records of their board meetings from March to May from the website, this appears to be more than a little suspicious. At least some forces of good appear to have formed in response to the havoc wreaked by our dastardly overlords; there is Remedy and the newly formed Fidelio, two organisations that I hope can prove to be pivotal over the next few years in stubbornly fighting our corner.
I would like to finish by asking everyone to take just a few moments to think of those juniors who are suffering at the moment, it is vital that all of us do our bit to support our colleagues throughout the remainder of this sorry affair. Medicine is a pretty stressful career at the best of times, but this year's events has resulted in unparalleled strain being placed on junior doctors. It is a time to consider all those who have been treated so heartlessly and inhumanely; in the future it is important that those of us who have been lucky enough to emerge from this unscathed never forget the lost tribe of 2007. We must use this terrible experience to become stronger as a profession so that we can fight against the injustice inflicted upon us and our patients by this so very cynical government.