Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Doctors in Limbo as Exam Papers Recalled; Anxious Wait for Reassessment

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Doctors in Limbo as Exam Papers Recalled; Anxious Wait for Reassessment

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown? 0191 201 6342 ? m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

HUNDREDS of would-be junior doctors have been left in limbo after an exam bungle saw their job offers being withdrawn.

Medical students in the North East have been left unsure where they will be working later this year after health chiefs revealed they need to look again at nearly a fifth of the 7,200 papers sat nationally during a recent test.

Now they face an anxious wait to find out where they will be come August, with some fearing they'll have to leave friends and loved ones behind to live at the opposite end of the country to where they were told they had work.

Newcastle University medic Sarah Naisby, 26, said she couldn't understand why it had taken until now to realise there was a major problem.

"I just don't get how, when the exams we sat were in December, they only realised a day after the job offers were made that there'd been a mistake," said Sarah, from Beatrice Road in Heaton.

"I would have thought that after the Modernising Medical Careers scandal in 2007, which created a similar situation for junior doctors and ended up allocating people to places on the opposite side of the country to where they wanted to be, that something would have been done to stop this sort of thing happening again."

Sarah said she hopes her application to the Northern Deanery, which covers Tyneside, Northumberland, Durham, Teesside and the Lake District, will still be successful, and that the re-marking could actually help some of her friends who were on the borderline of being offered a job in other parts of the country.

Alice Rutter, co-chair of the BMA's Medical Students Committee, said the knockon effects were already being felt by anxious North East medics and they couldn't have come at a worse time.

"People made life decisions based on this," said Alice. …

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