The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Cracking the 'NUT!'

A few clowns short of a circus

How do you crack the specialty training 'nut?!' Well, it seems that part of specialty training 2009 is to put young doctors on an endurance course with crazed 'machines' then wait and see what happens! .. Are 'they' having a laugh .. two years on from the MTAS catastrophe!?! .. You betya! There are still hitches with the potential to ruin many an excellent young doctor's career yet again! Haven't those systems been tested and validated before they were unleashed on the young doctors?! It seems I was too optimistic here ... for ..
Two years on from the MTAS circus and still, the 'machines' can not get it right!

"This year three medical royal colleges have been running their own online national application system where junior doctors can apply to train in their speciality.
A glitch in the computer system meant trainees filing in the forms at the same time could see each other's answers and at least one candidate had his qualifications and experience swapped for someone else’s.
The problem was spotted 'within minutes' and the system was taken offline. Deadlines for applications have been extended. Around 3,500 doctors had registered with the system.
The Royal College of Psychiatry system is now back up and running, but the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health system has still not been reinstated.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology was also affected for a short time but has now solved the issue."Amazing stuff! .. then ...
"Experts said it is on nowhere near the scale of the failure of the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) two years ago"

E X P E R T S !!! .. Oh PLEEEASE! Are they the same 'experts' of MTAS 2007?! .. or is it that everybody is now an 'Expert?!' .. A new lot of 'EXPERTS' perhaps?! Where do 'they' find all those EXPERTS with the same 'high' performance calibre from?! ... Ah well, at least 'it' is not on the same scale as hurricane MTAS 2007 .. that's alright then, isn't it! The 'EXPERTS' said so, didn't they?! .. The 'Experts' said ..

Tell that to the doctors who may lose out because of this .. the application to speciality training of 2009 blunder ...

AND .. while we're at it .. talking about 'blunders' .. please tell the 'Experts' there is something wrong with the Royal College of Physicians 'core training' application 'machine' too! REALLY!

Albeit small-ish in comparison to the above but 'valid' nonetheless! You see, there are questions requiring answers that allows a maximum number of words to be used. Those are on experience in audit, research, commitment to specialty .. etc. Of course this takes time and lots of effort for a young doctor to get what they want to say within the permitted allowance for each question .. Then you press the submit button .. but the system won't accept your application if you have used all your allowance! It will tell you that your word count is over the limit when you know that it isn't because you counted AND counted! ..

But then, you do go back and count and recount and count and recount .. to find out where you went wrong but you didn't .. It seems that the 'machine' may be configured somewhat different to whatever word package you may be using and hence, the word count may differ by just a few words .. and you can't submit! Meaning, you have to go back to one question, try to omit a few words from your 'perfect' answer , then try to re-submit again but .. again, the 'machine' won't accept! Then you go to another question and remove a few words from your 'perfect' answer .. then another .. and then the machine will finally accept your application .. but, were your submitted answers as perfect as you wanted them to be?!

Of course, the deadline for applications to core training have now passed. But, for the sake of those young doctors, why didn't those who devised the system allow say 10 or so words extra per application to allow for the variation of word packages used by the applicants .. if indeed this was the cause of this 'glitch'? .. because this reasoning is only my guess ... Of course the 'Experts' know better ... yeah .. maybe! ;-(

And now that most applications to specialty training have been submitted. How do we know that the 'machines' will be fair in marking same? Will they be using an MTAS style 'buzz word' system to mark?! .. how else can 'machines' mark applications?! How do we know those 'machines' won't 'spit out' a few applications here and there while they are in the midst of their marking convulsion .. munching and crunching?!

We await the 'EXPERTS' reply to this question .. soon please!

AND ...

God help all young doctors applying this year to 'Cracking the NUT!'

If we are all bouncers, who is going to get beaten?! .. Only the children left ...

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