United Kingdom
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges say on MTAS
Mar 10, 2007 - 5:16:51 AM

Doctors in training are a mainstay of service in the future. From graduation onwards their training covers every facet of what is needed to be a good safe doctor - working for the benefit of the people of the UK and bringing a continued commitment to the NHS.

A new process of selection of junior doctors for specialist training is being introduced this year. Although many good doctors have been short-listed, we are dismayed to learn of the exposure of serious weaknesses in the Medical Training Application Service, through which doctors are now selected and placed for specialist training. We see a crisis of confidence in this critical element of the new system.

The trainee doctors who are directly affected feel this most keenly and distressingly. Lord Warner’s statement last summer led doctors to understand that there would be jobs for all trained in the UK. Now many find that they have not yet been short-listed for interview. This includes people who are among the brightest and most able of their generation. Their applications will be re-considered in round two of the process.

There has always been competition for posts in the NHS. But a system that fails to deliver what is necessary today is unacceptable to the public and profession alike.

In the face of these concerns, we are grateful for the resilient commitment of so many senior doctors in this complex and time-consuming process. The Academy and Colleges are committed to ensuring that UK medical graduates, who are amongst the best in the world, are treated fairly and can spend their careers in the UK to the benefit of the British public. We will do everything in our powers to rectify this perilous situation.

To restore confidence, many changes will be needed, ready for the second round of applications. The Academy and its constituent Colleges and Faculties are requesting the Department of Health to undertake an urgent review of the process of selection.

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