do we need ranking?
The answer is yes, because some hospitals attract more F1 applications than others, eg central london vs lincolnshire. So, you have to have some way of reducing the 200 applicants to fit the number os post, say 100. You could do it randomly, and it would save an awful lot of anxiety (filling in that form was torture) for the applications and cost for the foundation schools. Or better still, each medical school could allocate students to F1 posts in the hospital's catchment area, much as it does for clinical placements. This is the way it used to be done, so why have we changed and what benefits have the changes brought?
This is probably not going to happen, so what else to suggest?
You could attempt to rebalance supply and demand by offering to pay London F1s less money and offer more to Lincolnshire F1s. That would divert some people away from London and towards Lincolnshire. It wouldn't completely redress the balance but it would help. There is absolutely no reason why all F1 doctors should have the same salary countrywide. Indeed, London already has an inner/outer M25 weighting.
The ranking process is discriminatory by definition. At the moment it discriminates on one's ability to analyse the person specification criteria and write creatively. I can see what the current process is trying to achieve (a move away from pure academic doctors), but it just doesn't work. A better idea is have a national finals exam. Clinical finals is not solely an academic exercise, but also tests communication skills and how much effort has been put in through the clinical years of medical school. This ticks alot of boxes from the person specification and requires no extra effort from students or schools once the national exam is up and running. 7 weeks after finals should be enough time to prepare students for their F1 post (although I was allocated in March, I have not yet heard from my F1 trust)
Please don't continue with the current application process. It's time consuming and creates anxiety because it's not clear what the markers are looking for. it also diverts energy away from studying and experiencing Medicine. I feel that I don't need to do well in my finals, because it doesn't count for anything. By the way I got a good application score, and got my first choice school and 2nd choice job.
Do you want doctors to be good at talking about themselves or good at being doctors?
Daniel Fox, SGUL