BMA urges tough test before MTAS roll-out

The Medical Training Applic ation Service (MTAS) needs to be 'tested to destruction' to avoid a repeat of this year's problems, the BMA has warned.

General practice recruitment was hitch-free in 2007, however MTAS problems dogged other specialties.

The DoH in England concluded a consultation into how best to cope with a surge in applications last month.

Three aspiring doctors are expected to enter the running for every training place and competition must be coupled with a fairer and more robust selection process, according to newly elected BMA Junior Doctors committee chairman, Mr Ram Moorthy.

He added: 'We should be rewarding excellence in medicine not just competence. Right now the government is a long way from guaranteeing that the most talented doctors make it to the top.'

His remarks follow calls from the BMA for shortlisting of candidates to be carried out locally rather than centrally.

GPs-to-be have been exempted from the 2008 application process which begins in January. Instead, they will apply through the traditional CV-based application process.

The BMA argued that there should also be no cap on the number of applications a doctor-to-be can make and applicants should be able to narrow the geographical area in which they would ideally like to work.

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