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Online recruitment criticised by doctors

A new online application system for junior doctor posts is not in the interest of talented doctors and it is harming the job prospects of many top students. This was the opinion expressed by more than 80 senior doctors.//

The system being followed is the “Modernising Medical Careers system” which scraps interviews in favour of points scoring from application forms answers.

The reason for this attack as claimed by specialists is that the process is untested and is leaving students bitter, angry and demoralised.

Department of Health defends the system saying that it "reduces waste and bureaucracy".

In this system students are required to apply online for a two-year foundation training course in hospitals after completing five years of medical training. They have to fill up six sections on the application forms, with exam qualifications carrying the same weight as leadership qualities. The points are assessed by a panel including doctors before a computer is used to match applicants with jobs.

The lower the score, the less likely an applicant is to get the job they want. Failed applicants have to go through further assessment.

“We have high-fliers who will make excellent surgeons who have been rated as failures by this process. They are desperate. Some have been told they will have to be assessed to see if they are even fit to be doctors, and there is nothing we can do to help them", said Professor Charles McCollum, South Manchester University Hospital professor of surgery.

"There are only 600 applicants not yet placed. We know that a little over 400 of these applied for the most popular jobs, and they will undoubtedly get jobs in the next round. The jobs exist where the work needs to be done, not necessarily where the junior doctor wants to be. It has always been the case that some medical school graduates wouldn't get their first choice of location or post," said a Department of Healt h spokeswoman.

So the debate over this issue and the opposing thoughts of the government and doctors continues.

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