New recruitment plans for specialty training across the country could lead to applicants being 'stressed and confused' the HCSA said today.
Health Education England announced last week that trainees applying to higher specialty training will face a number of changes - including computer-based tests rather than face to face interviews - leading to concerns that the process might not be robust to recruit some doctors.
There will also be increased use of the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) which is not suitable for some specialties and will mean increased study time for students.
Emma Cox, Chair of HCSA's Junior Doctors' Committee, said:
'Specialty recruitment starts in just a couple of weeks and the process remains unclear, which is very stressful for applicants in the middle of a Covid-19 pandemic.
'I am concerned about using an exam as a sole assessment method. The increased use of MRSA means juniors need to revise more - it is hard to know how they are able to do this during a pandemic.
'The plans for interviews to use a single panel could lead to discrimination so we would call for them to release their equality impact assessment.'
There is also concern that offers of employment will be made much later through this process which could impact on people relocating and those with family commitments.
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