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A little bit of humour.......

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Dear colleagues,

Information has been omitted in previous communications regarding MTAS applications. All potential applicants should read the following

1) Applications

Application forms must be filled in promptly and submitted before 4th February. Applicants for ST1-ST3 should submit their forms on odd days of the month and applicants for ST4 on even days.

In case you forget, we will send you a terse email to remind you of the deadline way before. Then the website will be really slow.

2) Interviews

Interviews will be scheduled to cause maximum inconvenience to both applicants and interviewers. Please let us know any important dates (on calls, exams, birthdays etc).

Make sure that your medical students are competent because they will be required to cover for all doctors on the team for half of March and April.

Applicants will be required to wear a colour-coded belt to the interviews. This will also be compulsory work attire from August. Colours are: ST1 yellow, ST2 green, ST3 purple, ST4 blue, ST5 brown and ST6 black.

Interviews will comprise

a) An obstacle course, where the obstacles will move to add to the challenge

B) A group work section where you will be placed with 8 other candidates and asked to make as many friends as possible within 10 minutes. Only 8 candidates from ech group will be premitted to move on to station c.  People be asked to nominate two candiadates to be sent home at the end of this station in a 'diary room'.

c) A validation section, where you must provide proof that everything you say on your form is true. This will include a retinal scan, fingerprinting, a DNA test and a letter from your PE teacher at school to show that you did

in fact play on the hockey team.

3) Job allocation

Applicants will be awarded points based on their application form, performance at interview and a randomly generated number. They will then bid for jobs in a 'deal or no deal' style. No information wil be available about the nature or location of the jobs for which applicants are bidding.

4) Unsuccessful applicants

Applicants who are unsuccessful in the first round will be invited to attend a 'Big-Brother' style elimination round where the general public will have the opportunity to vote for the individuals that they feel should be offered jobs. Each major specialty will have its own Big Brother house. Bullying of any nature will not be tolerated, except in the surgical house where it will be encouraged.

5) A few tips for answering some of the harder questions:

Give an example of how using your clinical judgment made a difference to an outcome for a patient.

Whenever I use my clincal judgement something bad seems to happen. I try to avoid it now.

Mistakes do happen. Give an example of one of yours.

No bloody way, you think I don't want a job? And besides, the GMC cleared me of all that. No, I'll make something up that makes me sound like I think a really small thing is a big mistake and I'm really conscientious.

What experience do you have of teaching?

I have lots of experience of teaching. From the age of 5 I attended school. At a higher level, I attended at least 50% of my lectures at university and now I occasionally sign in for teaching at my MRCPsych course. Yep, very experienced at teaching, me.

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Very good, I think it's healthy that we can all have a laugh in these times of adversity. Don't joke about big brother though it just might happen.

'Now for your next task candidates we would like you to express your feelings about a time you dealt with a difficult patient through the medium of dance.'

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How about this for A1 and A2?

A1 Why are you motivated to pursue further training in this specialty? In what way are you able to demonstrate that your own skills and attributes are suitable for a higher career in this specialty?

I was first attracted to psychiatry when I realised that there was only like five conditions that you had to know about. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar that’s about it really so I thought why not, looks like a bit of an easy ride. I’ve since discovered it’s a lot harder but now I’m on the train I can’t be arsed getting off. Although I have to admit GP’s looking good, a hundred grand, whoooooohooooo! How did they pull that off?

A2 Provide evidence of your recent efforts to increase your insight and capabilities relevant to the specialty. What has been the outcome and how has this further developed your suitability for this specialty?

I went to the first couple of lectures in the postgraduate program but as my insight improved and I recognised it was rubbish I got my mate to sign me in instead. The outcome was that I went to the cinema and watched the new bond movie. Not bad but I’m still not convinced that Craig is really a great bond. The rest of the time I just played on the Xbox. That has developed my suitability by increasing my reaction times handy when I need to make a quick getaway at four o clock on a Friday.

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A3 Provide evidence of activities/achievements over and above your regular scheduled daily activities that demonstrate your continuing personal commitment to the specialty (or further development of relevant skills). Indicate date and place relating to the evidence.

April 23rd, 1996 - wrote a dissertation denouncing the idea of Mendellian Inheritance and proved the existance of God using Boulian algebra. Created a rent in the fabric of time. 12 lives lost - but they were breaching in A&E anyway........ This shows my ability to be a team player if only to improve waiting time statistics by messing with temporal reality.

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