Thursday, March 15, 2007

without a paddle

MMC steering committee holds urgent meeting to modify the online application process (Prof Alan Crockard, far right)

and so the crisis goes on

this week the department of health announced that the process by which 30000 junior doctors are applying for 22000 jobs is to be urgently reviewed.

the reason for this was that several groups of consultants on interview panels refused to participate in the process on the basis that the entire selection system was moronic.

i have mixed feelings about the actions of these consultants. on the one hand i am glad they spoke out and got a review to take place. on the other hand i pose the question:

where the fuck were you guys nine months ago?

this disheartened doctor has been wingeing about MMC since last year. everybody in the medical profession knew this was going to happen and knew that the implementation was going to be a joke. we knew this from the way the newly graduated doctors had been treated by a similar system. yet the warnings were not heeded. our union, our royal colleges and our bosses sold us down the river with a group shrug of the shoulders and an indifferent "well who knows what's going to happen" whilst all along we were screaming "it's a shit idea, it's going to be shit and it'll fuck up our lives, your lives and those of our patients."

so this review: i'm not convinced. not convinced at all and sadly don't hold the views of my fellow learned bloggers (here and here for example) though i wish i did.

the first round of selections is nearly over. there is talk of the second round being modified to be "fairer."

what this actually means, and we can debate for days about what modifications should be made, is that MMC will continue, we WILL do exactly what we are told to do and we WILL BLOODY WELL LIKE IT. it is marxism at its most literal. you will be allocated and perform the task that we deem you appropriate for.

patricia hewitt and the department of health: why can you not see that our NHS is held together by the altruism of its nurses and doctors. you've already slain the nurses (below inflation pay rise this year most recently) and through MMC you've killed the morale of already demoralised doctors. the boat carrying our altruism is sinking because you've punctured so many holes in the fucking hull. time is running out patricia. how can you not see this?


there is a protest march on saturday. i shall certainly be attending. so shall many of the british medical bloggers. will it make a difference? i doubt it. optimistically it may burgeon public support. realistically the public will probably wonder what all these rich doctors are bitching about, the power-obsessed bastards. pessimistically i think 10% of the doctors who say they are going to attend will actually show up.

for we are the most ineffectual group of lobbyists ever. oh for being a bit more militant and bit less self-serving (like the new zealand junior docs who took strike action last year).

i've been eyeing up the canadian medical board exams. even if i get a job for august, what precedent does the behaviour of the DoH set for working in the NHS in years to come. i personally can't wait for the next set of "reforms" circa 2008. surely better to go somewhere or do something where you are valued as a person with skills to offer society.

i'll report back after the march. i really hope that there will be a sea of angry doctors there, like Sauron's army of orcs and that the british public will be thrusting their fists into the air and willing us to go and give the DoH hell.

but i worry that it will make no difference. i worry it's too late. i worry that come august this will all be done and the protests of the future physicians, surgeons and professors of this country on saturday will become but a whisper in the tragic history of the NHS.

[i am listening to the new Shins album]

ps. this is fucking psychedelic genius:


Cal said...

No, I don't think you're being pessimistic in saying that you think 10% of those who say that they are attending are actually gonna show up.

I think that's a realistic figure.

I don't think that some SHOs who have got their interviews secured will bother showing up.

A pity.

I'm definitely gonna be there, though.

chris said...

Hey, you're back! Was wondering where you'd been - hope the interviews went OK (although with this mess one wonders what the point is).

Cal said...

Hey, you! give us an update every once in a blue moon! Were you on the march? I went along - it was awesome!

HospitalPhoenix said...

where the fuck were you guys nine months ago?

Well, quite!

I have a good mind to send my [slimy, placating, pile o'nonsense] letters back to my MP, with I TOLD YOU SO scrawled across them. But that would be silly.

Chin up. And blog again soon so we know how you're getting on.

James said...

Dear Disheartened Doctor,

As you may know already I have an interest in blogs about work.

I started to look at such blogs two years, but for reasons I won’t bore you with, prevented me from developing the project beyond a questionnaire exercise.

I am now, finally, at a stage where I can spend enough time researching a phenomenon I find very interesting and expect others to do so when I get around to telling them!

So, why I am telling you this?

Well, I’m looking for some input into a research project that investigates work-related blogs – something that hardly anyone has written about before.

I have no intention of ‘outing’, or indicating in any way, any blogger.

The paper is not about sensationalising blogs.

It’s more to do with exploring the significance of a wider emerging trend of ‘ordinary’ people exploiting the web for any number of reasons.

At this stage I would like to first of all request your permission to use excerpts from your blog for my paper.

If you do allow me to do this I promise to consult with you on what I intend to use and how I intend to use it.

Any other feedback or direction from you would be welcomed.

To be more specific, and based on what several sources have said out such blogs in the past (newspapers, trade journals and academics), I’m looking for blog entries that cover the following themes:

1) Postings that would be viewed by your employer, or any other employer, as some sort of nuisance to them.

2) Postings that you believe could lead to disciplinary action if your employer knew about what you were doing (especially if you post anonymously).

3) Postings that offer an ‘honest’ review of how you are expected to work (e.g. outlining ridiculous practices or expectations from management, etc.).

4) Postings that could be viewed as being news from the workplace or ‘spilling the beans’ on a certain work-related matter that you feel should be in the public domain.

5) Postings that you feel could shape public opinion about what you do or how your job has an impact on others, even if your blog is read by a small number of people.

6) Postings that are about you, whether you intended at the onset to do it or not, revealing aspects of your job that others could learn from, i.e. tricks of the trade or tacit knowledge.

7) Postings that reflect the possibility of loneliness at work, i.e. writing in a manner that indicates you wish you had more support or chance to discuss matters with others at work.

8) Postings that are clearly about trying to get one over on management, i.e. resistance.

Some of these requests may appear similar or vague and it’s unlikely that you will be able to provide examples of all of the above, but any examples of any category will be appreciated.

Like I said I before, posting can (and will be) changed in a manner that protects your or anyone else’s identity.

I should also say while I’m at it that I am looking for bloggers to make a contribution to another project that I intend to get started on very soon.

It would be an edited book (many contributors) that would a) cover research on work-related blogs, b) allow bloggers to tell their story of what blogging about work has done for them.

For bloggers this could mean anything and I mean anything. For example, if blogging has won you an audience and adulation then write about that. If blogging has helped you meet people who have helped you in some way that would be excellent too. If blogging just ended up being a burden that has brought no advantages then write about that.

Again, I’m not sure how I want this to go and would appreciate any ideas from you. For example, you could write this all yourself or I could interview you and take it from there.

Anyway, these are my ideas and I’d really appreciated any input from yourself.

Please free to contact me about this.

We can speak on the telephone if this would help.

In total confidence and sincerity.

James Richards
Lecturer in HRM
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, UK

Cal said...

I believe you're in high demand, Dr. D&C! What next, a movie role??

;) :p

docwhisperer said...

Hi, I found your blog c/o Hospital Phoenix. I am a physician in the US (a "foreign medical grad", which means I went to med school elsewhere). I have been trying to follow this whole mess, and I really feel for you guys.
Because of the generally nepotistic and corrupt medical system in my home country, I left for training and career advancement in the US and have been much happier. You can warn your countrymen that if they persist in this system, they will find a similar "brain drain" in their future.
Question: Has someone initiated a lawsuit to try and stop the insanity? I'm sure if this were to happen in the US, there would be a ton of lawsuits going on. Or are Brits not litigious by nature? Good luck and chin up!

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