Wednesday, 10 October 2007

MTAS lessons not learnt

Just after the Tooke review has been released, hopes were high that the powers that be would be forced to change their incompetent ways; a reality check is often only just around the corner and it has come rather quicker than many expected.
The new Foundation Programme application form is available for all to see online and it contains the same white space questions that caused such uproar in MTAS 2007. These white space questions have been used to select for Foundation Programmes for several years and I have yet to find a trainee who thinks that they are not an utterly useless load of rubbish. Here they are:
"Question 1
Maximum points available: 5 points Limit: 250 words
* List your educational achievements.
Question 2
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
* Give one example of a non-academic achievement explaining both the significance to you and the relevance to foundation training.
Question 3
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
* Describe one example (not necessarily clinical) relevant to your medical training where you have felt personally under pressure and/or challenged. What did you do to manage this and what did you learn from this experience that will be relevant to your foundation training?
Question 4
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
* Describe one example from your undergraduate medical training of your ability to prioritise tasks and information from any clinical or education area. What was the outcome, what have you learned and how will you apply this to foundation training?
Question 5
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
* Describe one example from your own clinical experience that has increased your understanding of the importance of team working. What was your role and contribution to the team? What have you learned and how will you apply this to foundation training?
Question 6
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
* Describe one example of a recent clinical situation where you demonstrated appropriate professional behaviour. What did you do and what have you learned? How will you apply this to foundation training?
Question 7
Maximum points available: 10 points Limit: 250 words
* Compare and contrast the care pathways you have observed or two diferent patients with similar clinical problems. To what extent did each pathway take the individual needs of the patient into account? What have you learned from these patients that will be relevant to your foundation training?"
I am lost for words. This is no way to select doctors. It shows just how hard it is going to be for the Tooke review to have the effect it should, as we still have the same selection of incompetent organisations running things with the same idiots in charge. Surely for the Tooke recommendations to be implemented we need a mass clear out of the staff who have been shown to be incompetent and negligent with their actions in recent months?
If nothing is done to remove the large array of incompetents at the DoH, PMETB, GMC, Royal Colleges and BMA; then how will progress be made? It would be a shame if the Tooke review is just another talking shop that results in no real change in the useless institutions that are running things. The pressure must be kept up, otherwise this will not be the last time white space waffle is inflicted upon us.


David L. Cox said...

Few things appear more difficult than the removal of senior managers in the DH and other organisations involved in the MMC/MTAS scandal. They cling limpet-like to their cozy positions no matter what evidence comes to light of their incompetence, even when all but identified by an authority like Prof Tooke!

How can any of the juniors have faith that the Tooke Report's recommendations will be adhered to and pushed through with vigour while these people remain in position?

Clearly further pressure is needed to get them out of the way so that real managers can get something done!

With regard to the Application form, the mind boggles! I'd like to think thatits issue was just a stupid mistake, but with the mis-managers still in place, I'm afraid I err on the side of scepticism.

dreamingspire said...

The problems of lack of competence and blindly going where no competent and responsible person would go are by no means confined to the DoH. (Yes, the allusion to StarTrek is deliberate.)

the little medic said...

The whole thing is ridiculous, although to be honest, it could have been a lot worse from my point of view. Other than question 1, I don't think i'll have too many problems coming up with relatively decent answers - what they are looking for is however an entirely different question.

Ms Medic said...

I am in the opposite position. I know I'll get 4 out of 5 for question 1 with my BSc, but what to do for the rest of them? When do we as students ever really become part of the team? And the one about contrasting care pathways, well, that's either a full-on essay or a waste of time. I am so anxious already and I'll be on elective in Africa when it needs to be handed in, which doesn't help either.

canon said...

"When do we as students ever really become part of the team?" I'm afraid you're education is rather waisted unless you've been sticking your nose in and getting your hands dirty. Always ask you're FY1 doctor what jobs you can help with and always offer to do/ take part in procedures around the ward. It's up to you to get the experience on the wards/ attend ward rounds/ etc, in your 5 or 6 years of medical student life. A bit late now though. Put it this way, the questions look really simple after 3 months of FY1.

canon said...

I can't spell :) Remember to answer every part of the question, you will lose tonnes of marks if you don't. And relax, it's worth it once you get there, and you're practically guaranteed a job in your first 2 years.

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