Wednesday, 9 January 2008


I’ve made up my mind and I now have a plan.

Thank you all for your advice – I’ve decided to stay where I am (for now).

I’m doing a job I really enjoy but have a seven year contract in a city that I really dislike. I’ve been trying to decide whether I should apply for another training job elsewhere in the country and give up my training contract where I am.

A couple of weeks ago, I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to leave this to seek work elsewhere, but now I’ve changed my mind and the reasons are as follows.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists have always said they thought that some changes to anaesthetic training made by MMC were a crock of shit. Specifically, they didn’t agree with idea of a 7-year “run-through” training programme (this is the type of contract that I currently hold) and, backed by the Tooke Report, they’ve decided to get rid of this. Those, like me, who managed to get a “run-through” job in 2007 will have their contracts honoured, but there will be no more 7-year training programmes offered. Instead, training will be “decoupled” and split into two consecutive 2- and 5-year contracts. Doctors would have to reapply at the end of the 2-year “basic” training part. The idea is that it gives doctors in training a chance to change locations or specialties part-way through their training.

In a nutshell, the abolition of “run-through” training gives me an opportunity to move to a different part of the country in 2009 and this is what I plan to do. I’m going to stay here in NewCity for another year and then apply for registrar (ST3) jobs elsewhere next year.

Last year, the application process made my life a misery for months and months and the thought of doing it all again now makes my heart sink – especially as competition for places is going for be even fiercer this year.

It won’t be plain sailing though. In order to be eligible to apply for jobs starting August 2009, I’ll need to have passed both parts of the fiendishly difficult anaesthetic post graduate primary exams before January of next year. Because of the timing of the exams, this means that I’ll have to pass both sections on my first attempt, plus I’ll have to sit the first part after only a few months of anaesthetics. It’s going to be a huge ask but I think that the prize of Escape from NewCity will spur me on to study harder than I’ve ever studied before!

So, it seems I’ve found the “3rd way” as a solution to my problem. I’m going to stay put for another year and aim to leave next summer. This means that I won’t have to stay in this crap city for the remainder of my youth, but at the same time, I won’t have to navigate the medical job application system four times in four years either. The down side is that I’ll spend most of the next 12 months in the library studying like a fiend.

In the meantime, I’m going to follow the advice of some readers to this blog. I’m going to get a new hobby or two, get a girlfriend, kick back and appreciate what I have achieved so far. After all, I’m doing something I love every single day and getting paid for it.

Now, how many people can honestly say that?

- Michael


steph said...

A wise decision indeed!

Good luck with the studies but please don't forget to revive Mrs Romano!;-)

Anonymous 4 said...

Yes, Mrs Romanoooooo, r u OK dear?! hmmm

But how can you apply to de-coupled ST3 if your are following a different system; run through? Have you been advised by anyone this will be possible?

the little medic said...

Well done on coming to a decision. Sounds like its a wise one too.

Good luck with finding a hobby and girlfriend :)

bob said...

you're not wrong about the anaesthetics exam, those mcqs look horrific

micheál said...

Sounds like a good plan.

(Must remember ST3="registrar")

Now about that Mrs. Romano lady... the suspense is killing us!


Anonymous said...

... I'm in Newcity too. It's a lonely place :(

Maybe we can 'run through' together sometimes?.... ;)

Mrs Romano! @@

The Junior Doctor said...

Thank you very much everyone, I actually feel much better now I've come to a decision. It's no longer hanging over my head and I can get on with other stuff without worrying about applications and the like.

Anonymous 4 - I'll still have to quit my programme in 2009, but decoupling means that there should be more positions available to apply for in 2009, so my chances of getting a job should be better. Also if everyone has to reapply, employers are less likely to say I'm "flighty" or "uncomitted" to training.

bob - i think the anaesthetics exam is regarded as the hardest of all the post-grauduate exams. Believe it or not, the MCQs are the "easy" part. The second part contains a viva so you have to know the answers to all those questions off the top of your head! The exam is in June and I've started studying already

TLM - thank you very much, i'm planning on starting to look for both this weekend

- though if the link that anonymous posted is anything to go by, i think I'd rather stay at home!

As for what happened with Mrs Romano... read on

Anonymous 7 said...

"TLM - thank you very much, i'm planning on starting to look for 'both' this 'weekend'"

A 'hobby' AND a 'woman' in a weekend?! I think you better be satisfied with the 'one' in the link son ;-)

and, you made the right decision, good luck with those exams too.