(Yes, that's my sad face. Yes, I forgot to put make-up on, okay?)
I haven't blogged in a while*, and whilst I'd like to say that this is actually because I've been acting like a proper Cambridge medic and making love to Biochemistry textbooks in my college library, it's actually because I've been plain lazy. And just today I read another profound blog post that made me realise just why I'm being so lazy, but I'll save that for the next post, which will be a Hollywood-esque jam-packed tale of ambition, success, failure, and Donald Trump. (No, it's not going to be an Apprentice review, though good guess! These guys do a much better job than I could. --Editor)
Anyhoo, more MTAS bad news! All that I know about MTAS comes from the medblogs out there that do a terrific job of covering the madness it's unleashed on the wards. But it turns out that there's more to MTAS than just the nonsense affecting junior doctors. The geniuses behind it all, not content with culling working doctors, decided to get right to the root of the problem - medical schools.
As I learnt from the Cambridge representative to the BMA Medical School Conference, in addition to the questionnaire part and the reference part, there's an academic part for medical students to be ranked by their medical schools upon graduation. Once the students are ranked academically, they are divided into 4 quartiles.
Oxford and Cambridge reps to the Conference argued that this system is intrinsically biased against universities with more stringent admissions criteria and tougher exams, like themselves. This is because students at these universities would have to put in more work and sit for tougher exams than students at other universities ranked in the same quartile. Similar motions were put forward by both reps, but they failed to pass because, in the rep's words, "as you must understand the other British medical school representatives at the BMA were not very sympathetic with this idea".
Whoa whoa wait! Before you start lobbing rotten vegetables (and certain forms of animal excrement, for those of you who used up all your rotten vegetables after my last post --Ed) at me for being an arrogant arse, let me say that I do not actually know if Oxford and Cambridge have tougher exams than other universities. Certainly some people seem to think so. But from what I've seen of other universities' courses (and I've been to quite a few other unis - time away from Cambridge is like a drug holiday for an antidepressant user suffering sexual dysfunction --Ed) the only difference that I noticed was that courses elsewhere seemed more...enjoyable. To my clinical-starved self, at least.
So what does this mean? Does it matter? Will it make a difference in four years when we graduate and get spat out into the workforce? I don't know. Should I be bothered? Probably. But not right now, because it's almost 9am and I hear my supervisor coming. If anyone asks, I've been in the library all night.
*yes, I'm going to pretend that some of you out there actually care. I'm young, okay. Let me dream! --Ed.