THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Feedback on the National Recruitment Process – 2

QUOTE As I haven’t been offered a place yesterday, does that mean I will not be getting one at all? As being one of those who were very dissatisfied with the whole process from the beginning, I think it is sad that now a lot of people who complained and expressed concerns will now sit back and keep quiet about the concerns they had; since they now hold a place. Many in my dental school sent emails complaining about the process to the London deanery and the BDA, only one of us had a response from the London deanery, explaining this: ‘ Please be advised that the recent DF1 interview process was designed by experienced postgraduate dental deans, DF1 Training programme directors and both general practitioner and specialist dentists from COPDEND and its regional teams, in close cooperation with London Deanery. In accordance with standard practice in healthcare selection and wider recruitment, a set number of scenarios and set questions were used during the interview process. For the Clinical Scenario station, one set clinical scenario was used throughout the day across the selection centres. For the Management and Leadership station, three pairs of set scenarios were used in rotation throughout each day of interview, across the selection centres. For the written exercise, five exercises were used in rotation throughout each day of interview, across the selection centres. Questions asked at all stations were standard set questions.’ Honestly I do not think this is enough to prevent candidates preparing for the interview, it was basically an exam, and as a candidate within the process, it would have allowed me to perform a lot better being familiar with the questions and scenarios asked, just as it does with OSCEs and exam questions. I appreciate that these scenarios are comparable to those that a dentist will encounter within practice……. but dentistry is a profession were we will not be able to prepare for incidents, facing many unfamiliar situations….. If candidates were familiar with what they were to be asked well then how does that help distinguish between the better and worse candidates? The London deanery explains that ‘It is worth noting that candidates were individually instructed prior to interview not to discuss the interview with their colleagues’ did they really think that people were going to do this? Especially over 4 days, those who discussed it probably thought that the people organising the process would have had the sense to include more scenarios or do their utmost to prevent candidates preparing! An actor on the Tuesday expressed that on the Monday in Leeds that they were very unorganised and most of the examiners weren’t calibrated and didn’t really know what they were doing, how is this fair?!! I am extremely upset and distressed with the whole process and I do not believe this has been any fairer! I cannot comment for all those offered places, but after seeing a few people who have, seeing their dentistry/performance in dental school, I can comment and say that it does not express their ability as an eventual dentist. The ‘interview’ process that took place is not enough to rank candidates in order and distinguish between the better students. There should be something in hand where after ranking the London deanery/copdend would contact the dental school, and I would be very interested in seeing how these rankings correspond to performance at university!! I live in a house with other dental students, all of which have places; I am able to say that I am not in any way the worst candidate/dental student. This feeling I have at the moment is one of the worst feelings I have had for a long time, especially after having no support and no idea with what is going to happen, I cannot believe copdend have left us waiting a whole weekend to find out!! If I am going to be unsuccessful why not just tell me when they gave everyone else their offers? UNQUOTE

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