The recent Medical Training Application System (MTAS) has been fraught with problems. A survey of MTAS applicants from two London training schemes and a request for emails from trainees and trainers documenting problems with the system were undertaken with the aim of canvassing the views of candidates and shortlisters/interviewers about MTAS, and providing evidence of the system's failings.
A total of 101 candidates responded to the survey, and the first 92 emails sent to the Royal College of Psychiatrists were analysed. The majority of respondents (73%) were dissatisfied with MTAS and 63% thought the system unfair. UK and European Economic Area (EEA) applicants (71%) were more successful in being shortlisted than non-EEA candidates (48%). The majority of applicants (70%) planned to reapply in subsequent rounds if they failed to secure a training post.
Both surveys showed clearly that the system was not working well. The trainees and trainers both felt that the system was flawed and that the reasons for the failure included a centralised system without any piloting, and the question design. In addition a lack of resources added to the stress and burden on both trainees and trainers.
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