It’s now two years since specialty training and recruitment came under the MMC umbrella, so I thought I’d revisit the subject to see if the powers that be have managed to iron out the problems the new system had at its inception.
One of the key concepts of MMC, the new post-graduate training system for doctors, was to end the “lost generation” of Senior House Officer (SHO) junior doctors who spend far too long in SHO posts and face far too may barriers to career progression.
A quick look at the MMC website shows how beneficial the changes have been to junior doctors. They’ve got rid of the name “SHO” and given us names like CT1, ST2, FTSTA2, ACCS1 etc… etc… but the jobs that we are doing are essentially the same, so I’ll refer to all these posts as “SHO” in this post to try and avoid confusion. All SHOs would like to progress to being a Specialist Registrar (SpR) with the long term aim to complete our training and become a consultant.
MMC has renamed the SpR posts as “ST3”
Now, lets say that you’re a junior doctor and are coming to the end of your two or three years as an SHO and want to move on to an ST3 (SpR) job next year to progress your training. Oh, and lets say that you want to stay roughly where you live at the moment because that’s where your friends and family are.
For the specialty of anaesthetics, let’s see exactly how many jobs there are to apply for in England & Wales in 2009.
East Anglia and the East of England – 1
East Midlands – 2
Kent, Surrey & Sussex – ZERO
Manchester, Lancashire and the North West – ZERO
Newcastle & the north – ZERO
Oxfordshire – ZERO
Cornwall, Devon & Dorset – ZERO
Bristol and the Severn area - 1
Wessex – 1
West Midlands – ZERO
Yorkshire – ZERO
In fact, the only places where are any vaguely sensible numbers of jobs are Liverpool and London. If you happen to live anywhere else, you’re going to have to move. In the whole of the country, there is a sum total of 55 jobs available in 2009. My back-of-an-envelope calculations tell me that there’ll be in the region of 350-450 doctors wanting one of these 55 jobs. What happens to the people who don’t get one of these jobs? Nobody knows, and the impression that I get is that nobody really cares. The situation is even worse for doctors who want to be surgeons, paediatricians or physicians.
Remember that the stated aim was to PREVENT barriers to career progression. How can a system that’s been six years in the making fuck things up so badly?