In 2015, there were 82,034 applicants fighting for 7,424 places to study medicine, with some medical schools reporting 1000 applications for 50 places.
And yet the public faces a series of five-day strikes by junior doctors between now and Christmas. These strikes will be ‘the longest in the history of the NHS.’ It means that junior doctors will walk out of hospitals, including A&E units, for a total of 20 days before the end of the year. About 100,000 operations are likely to be cancelled and a million appointments postponed.
I am sure the competition ratios for medical school were similar for the years when this current crop of selfish, irresponsible junior doctors were training.
There must be hundreds of thousands of men and women out there wondering how students who were accepted upon such a prestigious, competitive course and trained on the taxpayers’ buck can now turn their backs on the patients they promised to serve.
It is true that, just because places in medical school are in high demand, it does not mean the government should be free to exploit junior doctors. But this new contract is not offering exploitation – it offers an overall pay rise, but on conditions that are not quite to the liking of some junior doctors, such as reduced weekend pay.
There are reports that the vote to strike was by a narrow margin and senior doctors are now expressing publicly grave doubts over the strike.
However, examination must now turn to the medical schools that picked this generation of doctors who are turning their backs on their patients and their profession. It is not like they had a shortage of applicants with the necessary academic achievements. Perhaps the medical school valued ‘diversity’ over commitment to the calling to serve.
I would give and arm and a leg to see the personal statements of some of our striking junior doctors. No doubt many are full of guff as to how they has always wanted to be a doctor and how much they have wanted to help people.
I rather suspect that many medical schools are guilty of choosing students that share the same right-on, lefty views so it should come as no surprise that the leader of the BMA junior doctors committee is Ellen McCourt – a self-styled ‘left leaning, straight talking’ former orthopaedic registrar who spent May Day on a protest march in Newcastle which had the official theme ‘turn the tide against the Tories’, as reported by the Daily Mail on Saturday.
What this strike by junior doctors exposes is the complete culture change going on in our medical schools. I have no doubt they are also experiencing a long march by the Left through their corridors.
Perhaps we should just scrap interviews for medical schools – a highly prejudicial way of choosing candidates where any without the approved acceptable views can be snuffed out without explanation.
So don’t just blame the BMA, or indeed the government for making a promise they could not keep on seven-day services for the current predicament we are in.
Blame our medical schools who, out of thousands and thousands of applicants, managed to pick this bunch of self-serving lefties who now rule the show over their more moderate colleagues. It’s a fine mess indeed.
(Image: Garry Knight)