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BBC Looking for Doctor couples

Discussion in 'Site News' started by SarahWann, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. SarahWann

    SarahWann New Member

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    Hi,

    I am writing from the BBC's Factual Entertainment Department. We make programmes like The Restaurant, Dragon's Den and, more recently, Junior Doctors (for BBC3).

    We are currently in the very early stages of developing a new hospital documentary idea for BBC One and I am currently looking to speak to doctors (or other members of the medical profession) who are married to, or in a relationship with, other members of the medical profession.

    I am looking to have a quick chat to people who fit this description about how they balance a social/ home life with a demanding career. We are just keen to try and get a rounded view of a doctor's life, so I would just be asking a few questions about everyday experiences, eg. How do you balance shifts with childcare; do you work a lot of holidays; talk to each other about work over dinner? etc. Just some very general questions about balancing a demanding career with everyday, family life.

    I am not casting for a programme as yet and all conversations are simply for initial research and will be kept entirely confidential. I am just looking for an overview of different doctors' personal experiences.

    If you think you fit this description, or know someone who does, please get in touch on sarah.wann@bbc.co.uk and I can provide more information.

    Kind Regards,
    Sarah
     
  2. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    Why not do one on graduate stdents :D - they have kids already and possibly find it harder to support themselves than DINCY Doctors....

    After all, they are "Tomorrow's Doctors"

    :D
     
  3. James

    James New Member

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    Or perhaps they could do a documentary on why the tax payer is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds training 40 & 50 year olds to be doctors for a handful of years, when they could spend the same amount training an 18 year old who will give the next 40 years of their lives to the NHS.
     
  4. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    Wow James - bit cynical no?

    Let's say the average grad is 32 on start (actually, they're prob younger, but hey...)

    Working age is now to 65, probably 70 in our lifetime so on qualification, a hair short of 30 years of working life as opposed to 40 assuming an 18 year old sticks the course and doesn't change careers.

    Dropout rate of GEPs is way less than 18 year olds I would guess. After death, female grads droppig out to be Mums etc and other losses, I think the GEPs fill a gaping hole - the govt wouldn't do it if the need weren't there methinks.

    If you really want a tax payer bombshell then why not do a story on why the Government is wasting millions on students with no vocational degree in the first place.

    Kind of a bitter rant for someone on the forum really? How come?
     
  5. James

    James New Member

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    No cynical. Realistic.

    The BMA has repeatedly called for the number of medical students to be cut. The country is now training more doctors than we need. There is no evidence that GEP students make better doctors. Taking into account the undergrad degree GEP students are significantly more expensive and have a shorter working life than normal medical students.

    I have nothing against GEP students. I just fail to see the point of them. That is all.
     
  6. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    Link to BMA calls for docs to be cut?

    Courses are 20% shorter so perhaps the cost is made up for there and I disagree that GEPS are less evidence - all the med schools have an ethical responsibility and seem to be very discerning to take the top applicatns rather than any and all they can get - it surely can't be a money grabbing exercise.

    We should cut a hell of a lot more courses first before doctors I feel but I do take your point if there is indeed an oversupply. I'd be curious to know where you read that material, especially given the specialisation that docs must now go through efectively reducing numbers as well as the expanding and older population and therefore increased demand.

    Perhaps the BMA are wrong? I am intrigued.

    I'm also sure Sarah didn't sign up for this! :D
     
  7. James

    James New Member

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    BMJ Careers - Cuts loom for medical school places in Scotland

    Medical chiefs want cut in number of trainee doctors - because there are no Scots NHS jobs for them - The Daily Record

    Foundation Year jobs will be in short supply » Hospital Dr

    "Dropout rate of GEPs is way less than 18 year olds I would guess" "assuming an 18 year old sticks the course and doesn't change careers" - Evidence? Links? Anything???

    "especially given the specialisation that docs must now go through efectively reducing numbers" -What? I was under the impression that the scrapping of the SR grade and runthrough training had significantly speeded up the training of new consultants.

    "all the med schools have an ethical responsibility and seem to be very discerning to take the top applicatns rather than any and all they can get" - I am sure that there are plenty of 18 year olds with 3A's at A-level who feel they are stronger applicants than graduates with 3B's and a 2.1 in pharmacy.
     
  8. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    James - Hate to break the news, but medicine isn't just about being an and academic nerd.

    The average 18 year old has little true knowledge about what life is about, and is just guessing at what career will suit them. Some will get it right, but many will get it wrong. Some would have been attracted but the assumed glamour. Some because its career they though they understood. Some due to parent pressure, and some because they assumed it would get them respect. Not really a good basis for a career choice.

    Re you cited articles. For the most they are sensationalist, pieces, written to grab headlines. But look at the quotes.

    Scottish universities supply graduates for the whole of the UK, plus you get students in the rest of the UK wanting to g to scotland for quality of life.

    Also just because Scotland is currently oversubscribed. Doesn't mean the rest of the UK is. This very question posed to the representative of the South Thames Foundation School at his presentation to St Georges Medical Students, the week before last, and he rejected the notion.

    Yes they received applications from overseas. Why is this a sign that they aren't enough medical places? It isn't. Why would the foundation schools want to take on overseas students with the extra support and training costs if the had enough UK students?

    and

    See they are not talking about a current issue, but scaremongering...

    Look at the sources quoted. These are people who's vested interest is to reduce supply, so that demand for doctors increased...

    And so what if there is some unemployment in medicine. A secure job does nothing to induce quality working...

    If you want a more serious items of research on the issues you ought to look at :-

    Medical student attrition: a 10-year survey in one medical school - Simpson - 2009 - Medical Education - Wiley Online Library

    Nice high attrition for the straight from school brigade isn't it...

    And Are differences between graduates and undergraduates in a medical course due to age or prior degree? - Wilkinson - 2004 - Medical Education - Wiley Online Library


    and

    Should all medical students be graduates first? Yes -- Peile 335 (7629): 1072 -- bmj.com
     
  9. James

    James New Member

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    "The average 18 year old has little true knowledge about what life is about"
    "is just guessing at what career will suit them"
    "Some will get it right, but many will get it wrong"
    "Some would have been attracted but the assumed glamour"
    "Some due to parent pressure, and some because they assumed it would get them respect"

    Wow - that is some chip on your shoulder! I am trying to have a reasoned debate and you start off with a series of unsubstantiated, highly biased, verging on abusive statements. Do you really think so little of standard entry medical students? You do realise that the vast majority of your colleagues, trainers and consultants fit into this group?

    As I said in my previous post I have nothing against GEP students. I am just not convinced having a degree or being a bit older changes justifies the additional expense and the reduced working life. Whereas you seem to have a positive loathing towards standard entry students.


    Medical student attrition: a 10-year survey in one medical school - Simpson - 2009 - Medical Education - Wiley Online Library

    - This adds nothing to your argument. All courses have an attrition rate. There is no evidence that the attrition rate is lower for GEP students. For all I or you know it may be way higher than standard entry students?

    Are differences between graduates and undergraduates in a medical course due to age or prior degree? - Wilkinson - 2004 - Medical Education - Wiley Online Library

    The outcome of this rather poor, subjective study, published in a 3rd rate journal was that being older (not having a prior degree) "brought certainty and motivation about career choice and had some effect on approaches to studying and co-operativeness". This is a little different to 'they make better doctors' - and that is what matters isn't it?

    Should all medical students be graduates first? Yes -- Peile 335 (7629): 1072 -- bmj.com

    There was a counter to this article (see below). Interestingly the counter arguer had no conflict of interest and the 'yes' arguer was program director for a GEP course. The guy is just trying to justify his own job!

    Should all medical students be graduates first? NO -- George 335 (7629): 1073 -- bmj.com
     
  10. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    We asked at the SGUL open day what the attrition rate for a GEP vs normal 5 year was and without the figures to hand, you have to take me on faith that the 5 year had a significantly higher drop out rate.

    Something like 2 or 3 out of 120 in the GEP and not due to academic ability as opposed to 5-10% on a 5 year that don't get through F2. I have a friend who is a qualified doctor but stopped after uni and went into investment banking.

    Subscribed. :D
     
  11. James

    James New Member

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    ..and I know 6 GEP students who dropped out last year from UBMS and don't know any standard entry students who dropped out..

    I made the above statement up. But you know what, as a senior registrar who is heavily involved in teaching medical students at UBMS if I said that to a group of prospective med students they would probably believe me. Hearsay of drop out rates from one year at one med school carries about as much credability as my made-up statement. What I am interested in is verifiable facts - and so far I have seen no facts that to me would justify the additional expense and reduced working lives of training GEP students.

    I have worked with junior doctors from both the standard at GEP program and I regularly teach students from both programs. Like any group there are good people, bad people and a lot of people somewhere in the middle. But one thing that stands out to me is that there is little difference between the standard entry and GEP students/graduates. Which is why I fail to see the point of the GEP course.
     
  12. whenwhere

    whenwhere New Member

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    We aren't indebted servants of the NHS. Alternative entry exists because of the very human ability to change what you want to do with your life.

    Length of service is highly irrelevant whether it's 20 years or 50 years. To quote you: "We pay our training fees back a hundred times over in our tax bills."

    What's the big deal?
     
  13. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    Well the big difference is the 4 year vs 5 year length of the course so like I said, the costs are presumably cheaper, in the region of 20%. That said, now that students are having to fork out 45k vs 15k, obviously the funding issue will change. 2011 is set but 2012 may see GEP course reduced unless it is considered that GEPs do add that much value.

    You conveniently skipped over my point about length of service - I said the average was 32 but that is conservative. Most students on the GEP at SGUL seem on average more like 26 so they are only doing 3-4 years less than an 18 year old, often only the length of their additional degree. Your comment that they are 40-50 is an exception rather than the rule. I suspect EU legislation prevents courses from discriminating against older candidates due to age so that is probably the reason. Perhaps there is a quota that each school must fill so the Eurocrats don't fine them for discrimination.

    That difference can be more than accounted for by someone leaving when 60 or going private etc so is your chief complaint cost or length of service based because neither of those assertions seem to stack up.

    "Dropout rate of GEPs is way less than 18 year olds I would guess" "assuming an 18 year old sticks the course and doesn't change careers" - Evidence? Links? Anything??? -

    No - I said it was a guess.

    I freely stated that my numbers were SGUL specific. You don't have to believe them - I even said they were likely to be inaccurate as I can't remember the details. The dropout rate of a 5 vs 4 yr course was significant though.

    Maybe 1 university, UBMS seeing as you are a Reg there, should take some 1st years onto a GEP course and see how they cope? Same rules for funding etc as a grad. That would be an interesting study.

    Also, the GEP structure apart from funding is similar to the US model ie undergrad first then med school and they presumably have very good reasons for doing it that way. I don't have them to hand. Perhaps it is because their system is privately financed and someone makes a lot of money out of the loans but then again, med costs in the US are huge compared to here. Dunno - rabbit warren I suspect.
     
  14. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    Hardly abusive.
    Are you stating that any of those comments are incorrect? - in your own works - proof, link, yada yada yada...

    No chip on this shoulder, so you are probably just seeing the one on yours.

    You jumped in to a thread with an aggressive attach on a group of students;
    Based of extreme examples. eg using 40-50 year olds as a typical example of GEPS, when the average age is closer to 24.
    Misusing articles to make claims that aren't supported. - Eg Your article stating that there is a "Possibility" of oversupply in the future to suggest that there are too many GEPS.

    There are well researched materials on the differing in retention rates between GEP's and school entry. But considering how you hold political speeches are the holy grail or truth and dismiss academic research with arrogance, its not really worth the effort of pulling them out.

    However, I have asked if I can publish the attrition rates for the medschool that I work at as a hard fact for you.

    Life is a constant learning experience only a fool would argue that experience and maturity doesn't teach you more about yourself. Choosing a degree/career path at 17 is a BID decision, and a gamble. As at that age it's very rare to have much, if any, independent life experience. This means you have less reliable information and mistakes more likely to be made. Not that GEP's don't make mistakes, but they have more information to make those career decisions off.

    Yes it's true that the can't have the same maximum career length than a school leaver entrant. However there is plenty of research to substantiate the numbers still practicing medicine after 10 years, are higher with mature entry students. Does that make them better "value for money" not sure?

    But what GEP's do, is to bring are experiences that school entry cant give. Even better they increase the diversity of medical practitioners. And that is better for all of us as we learn from each other.

    You, wrongly, assume that I have a dislike school lever entry students, when I just dislike you. Your manner isn't of one who is here for a well reasoned debate, but just to cause conflict and offence. You have acted in manner which is just rude, aggressive and opinionated, you are rudely dismissive of research that contradicts your opinions and in MY opinion a classic example of the mistakes made when recruiting young people into medicine at an age where few have properly developed their interpersonal skills to a fully adult level.

    I'm sure you will pick holes in my typing and grammar, but I don't have time to proof what I've written and anyway, I don't really care what you think...

    TTFN
     
  15. James

    James New Member

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    Wow...Rant-tastic...

    If you don't like the points I am making then come up with a reasoned argument backed up by facts. I really don't seem the point in picking apart your self-indulgent, factually incorrect dribble.
     
  16. MisDee

    MisDee New Member

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    Self-indulgent, factually-incorrect dribble? LoL, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    All the same, why is the BBC all of a sudden showing such great interest into the lives of medics? The cynic in me smells a rat!
     
  17. MEDEVAC

    MEDEVAC New Member

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    The correct phrase is "drivel".

    MisDee, what happened to your previous post with the "like" comment? :)
     
  18. MisDee

    MisDee New Member

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    Ah MEDEVAC! You read that, I just noticed after I had posted it that it was wasted effort.

    [​IMG]

    I still think the forum needs a "like" button. :)
     
  19. whatnow

    whatnow New Member

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    Hmmm. Interesting discussion at a time when so many are on tenter hooks awaiting the outcome of the review of NHS bursaries for GEP. If it does not increase in line with the tuition fee rise many people will not be able to apply. I will be devastated if this happens. Yet I've worked in the NHS for almost a decade and feel dreadful when I see first hand the impact of poor resources on patient care. I also feel dreadful because cutting this funding will kill off the wider access that has just started to blossom.

    I realise that this post isn't particularly coherent or helpful, it's just that whatever happens the outcome will be a very sad one.
     
  20. Dr Noodle

    Dr Noodle New Member

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    I have no problem with however old medical students are.

    What I don't understand is why GEP course students only have to pay for their first year and have the rest of it as NHS bursaries (medical and dentistry students) when they have already had the privilege of doing one degree course (which also automatically puts them at an advantage of having an extra point for their foundation post applications).

    I don't understand why they aren't offered a loan like the rest of us?
     

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