Sunday, 30 January 2011

F1 Choices

Don't worry, I'm not that organised that I'm thinking about F1 yet, I just got a very interesting email from my medical school I thought I'd share to see what your thoughts were.  As you no doubt would have heard, this year for the first time overseas students were allowed to apply for F1/F2 jobs, and in December this year 180 UK graduating medical students weren't allocated foundation jobs, although apparently they will all be placed by August.  This is important because you don't get full GMC registration until you have completed your F1 year.  Furthermore, medical schools take on more and more students each year because apparently there's a shortage of Dr's in this country, although it seems there's a demand for trained Dr's but not the resources to train us.  To try and stop this from happening again the Medical Schools Council have come up with three options:

  1. Extra assessments like situational judgement tests, clinical skills test and communication tests to help allocate F1 jobs.  
  2. Grant full GMC registration on graduation
  3. Link F1 year with the undergraduate degree so you stay in your locality to do your F1 job, and then compete for F2 jobs.  
Admittedly, I haven't looked into how the whole foundation places thing works yet, as it's miles off for me and I figured it would probably all change again by the time I got there, so I'm not as knowledgeable about it all as I'd like.  However, options 1 and 3 don't really seem to address the problem to me?  3 just moves the point at which there will be a problem - fantastic, well done you've graduated and done the horrible stressful F1 year and become registered, now if you want to practise as the Dr you've spent years trying to become, take your student debt and leave the country, or find another line of work.  How is that right?  

Option 1 assumes that medical schools haven't prepared you well enough for F1/F2 years.  Although I'm sure it's true not all medical students are created equal, surely (but maybe naively) if you weren't good enough to be an F1 you wouldn't have passed finals - is that not how the medical school conveyor belt works?  Equally, I thought GAMSAT was expensive enough, I'm shocked at how much the Royal College of [insert profession here] exams are that I've heard about, how much am I going to have to pay to do the assessments to let me do the job I've trained for?  By the time I graduate, it will have cost a lot of money to train me, what a waste if I can't get a job.  And what am I supposed to do with the £60,000 of student debt I'll have by that time?

As for option 2, I'm not sure why you aren't GMC registered after graduation anyway, so I can't really comment on that, but it seems that makes it easier for our home students to push off and take their skills elsewhere, and leave the Dr-ing to the overseas Dr's coming in to do.  What do you think?

1 comment:

Lily said...

I like number 3 the best. I think we should all be guaranteed jobs which are a vital part of training (e.g. before full registration) but after that it's naive of medical students to expect a job when no other graduates get that kind of job security and they all have debts too.

In an ideal world we'd all be trained and given jobs, but if that's not going to happen we should at least be given jobs until registration where the job market should become open and more competitive.