Sunday, 7 January 2007

Modernising Medical Careers aka Taking Medical Careers Back to The Dark Ages

It's about time I blogged about something actually medical, and what better way to start than with Modernising Medical Careers. Now I don't know a great deal about this subject which is a bit odd considering its going to change my life next year but I do know more than a lot of people at my Medical School because I'm a geek that way. My Medical School have yet to give us any information about MMC and our foundation applications, in fact they haven't even mentioned what MMC is or what its got to do with us. I only found out what I know from reading elsewhere.

What I do know is that our application for foundation years is going to be based on our academic ranking within our medical school and the answers to handful of questions such as "Describe a time through Medical School where you showed integrity" with the answers judged by lord knows who in an office somewhere.

I'm not a complete geek and I'm not really a waster, I'm an average medical student, probably slightly above average academically but below average on my 'enrichment' (CV boosting) activities. Which will make me a better doctor? Well neither in my opinion. Yes I need to have the knowledge to know what I'm doing but I don't need to know the precise chemical formula for every amino acid. I also don't need to know how to climb a mountain blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back, although according to MMC, this could come in handy. I dislike those medics whose ears prick up at the thought of being published, some of my 'friends' seem to think that this makes them better than me. Bullshit.

We've just been told that our academic ranking for MMC which will be about 50-60% of our application will be based on year 3 and 4 exams and SSC (student selected component aka SSM) marks from year 3 and 4. Were we told this by the medical school? Ha, NO! By another student who happened to know. So, the medical school are going to use retrospective data to rank me against my peers, that's all well and good but I'd like to have been told this before I sat the exams. This isn't really the medical school's fault, its the fault of MMC. What is a mistake on the part of the Medical School is including SSC marks, now I've just finished an SSC with a supervisor who I really got along with and who will probably give me a good mark but I've done SSCs in the past with supervisors who barely even knew my name and hence gave me a mark based more on which side of bed he got out of that morning not my academic abilities. SSC marks are too subjective, why bother including them? No longer will people choose SSCs they are interested in, they will choose based on supervisors who will give them good marks. (fortunately I've got fairly good SSC marks and will probably benefit from them being included, maybe I should stop moaning)

So, this MMC thing is going to decide my future, it would be nice to have been told something about it without having to look for it, such is medical school. Who knows where MMC will take me, I just hope they've sorted out what happens after foundation years by then, otherwise I might just decide I don't want to be a doctor anymore and go find a job that will pay me more, and treat me properly.


Wandering Medic aka The Wanderer said...

Hi there, I just stumbled onto your blog. Interesting stuff....

I myself am a final year medic and just gone through the torture of F1 applications. The whole system this year has been a shambles, although less of a shambles than last year and the year before that (see where I'm going?), so with any luck it'll be even better when you apply next year.

Not to worry too much about being 'average'. Most students are and very few have things like publications and big prizes to put onto their CV. As long as you have a few extracurricular activities and aren't a complete social outcast (which I'm not suggesting you are!), you should have enough to draw on when you come to doing application forms!

Dr Grumble said...

....otherwise I might just decide I don't want to be a doctor anymore and go find a job that will pay me more, and treat me properly.
Well, you wouldn't be the only one but Dr Grumble's advice is to try not to worry about MMC and hope it settles down.

And remember half of all doctors are below average.