Posted by: Witch Doctor | April 5, 2007

Let’s talk about sex



Why was the MTAS/MMC system conceived the way it was?

Was it conceived to take advantage of conception itself!

The letter in yesterday’s Times from a group of senior doctors raises many important points. I have highlighted two of these and taken them further.

It mentions “flexibility in training programmes” However, the main need for flexibility in training programmes is a 70% female workforce. (The 70% figure is quoted by Sir Liam Donaldson, so he is well aware of this and the need for flexibility).

Generally, most women who are considering pregnancy, are pregnant, or already have a young family, need to stay put or follow their partners. It is a fact of life. They are restricted and immobile. That is why many women doctors like to have a broad based qualification such as MRCP or GP training behind them before they become pregnant. It leaves options open so they can follow their partners and find some part-time work anywhere in the country when children are young, possibly picking up full time careers later.

“MMC enforces premature choices by doctors only two years out of medical school, and expects candidates to sign over five critical years of their career without being told the detailed specification or location of the training and mentorship they will receive.”

The centralized MTAS/MMC system is not female friendly. Women with domestic ties simply cannot pack their bags, and set up home in an unknown part of the country, in an unknown specialty, in an unknown hospital, with an unknown on-call commitment. At face value, the demographics have been ignored. Or have they?

Was the application process carefully designed to select mobile (predominantly male) doctors to train as “proper” consultants? Was there really ever going to be a cull of UK doctors? Was the aim, rather, to divert UK women doctors into General Practice, local sub-consultant grades or “Alternative Consultant” posts. “New-Age Consultants” designed to be either part-time or with a very narrow range of expertise, offered in the hope this might be attractive to many women because they would be trained specialists with a new kind of consultant status? Perhaps cheaper to employ then the “well-rounded” predominantly male, real consultants. Similar to the “Nurse Consultant” perhaps?

This is the obvious outcome of the way MTAS/MMC is constructed. If these demographic consequences were not considered, then it demonstrates incompetence. If they were considered, yet ignored, this also demonstrates incompetence. If MTAS/MMC was designed in this way and for this purpose, and not openly discussed and agreed with all parties concerned then it is a conspiracy.

Incompetence or conspiracy – which?

Furthermore is this occult sexual discrimination?

Is it legal?

If these demographic consequences were considered, discussed openly and agreed by all parties, then where is the documentation of this?


  1. I know where you are coming from but the over-riding impression I have of the DoH is of incompetence.

  2. Mmm. Not sure yet.

    Mark you, it takes a lot of competence to make a conspiracy work.

  3. […] LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX […]

  4. […] The Witch Doctor was also displeased at how MTAS was handled. […]

  5. […] of this blog, The Witch Doctor felt that the selection process discriminated against women. See “LETS TALK ABOUT SEX” Thirdly, there were serious dumbing down activities going on in the background involving hospital […]

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