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CMF calls on church to support junior doctors in national careers crisis

Published: 9th May 2007

Christian Medical Fellowship, Britain's largest group of Christian doctors, has called on the whole church to pray for and to support Britain's junior doctors who are facing an unprecedented careers crisis.

'Modernising Medical Careers' represents the most extensive change to medical training since the inception of the National Health Service more than half a century ago' said Dr Ben Hall, chairman of the CMF Junior Doctors' Committee. 'Although many of its intentions are laudable, implementation has undoubtedly caused numerous challenges and difficulties, especially through the problem-ridden application system for training posts.'

Specialist registrar in trauma and orthopaedics Dr Rantimi Atijosan is further advanced in her training but noted some of the problems her colleagues have experienced with the application process: 'The website crashed repeatedly, eligibility criteria changed, the deadline had to be extended, there were reports of lost application forms, people were considered for specialties they had not applied for, and there were security breaches of confidential personal details'.

32,000 applications - by both UK and overseas graduates - were submitted, but there are now said to be only 18,500 posts available, not the 22-23,000 promised by government. When results of first round interviews are announced on 8 June, many doctors will find they are unemployed. Some have already changed career or emigrated. Over 300 of CMF's own junior doctor members are directly affected by the crisis and do not yet know if they will have jobs after 1 August.

Would-be surgeon Dr Eleanor Chiu told of the pressures she has faced professionally and spiritually: 'I'm frustrated at the government's lack of understanding. This has been the biggest test of my faith so far. When I entered medical school, I never thought I would be facing unemployment ten years down the line. I'm praying and seeking support from others around me, and trusting God.'

More than 10,000 junior doctors could be left unemployed, Ben Hall asks the whole church for prayer and support: 'Please take time to talk with junior doctors known to you in your own congregation or community, and crucially, please particularly include in your prayers during this difficult period junior doctors, those who supervise and train them, and all who staff the careers process'.

For further information:

Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

Christian Medical Fellowship:
uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
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