A cautionary tale ... 🧵
Back in the day, fresh back from a Trauma year overseas with a 1st surgeon logbook our current ST3/4s could only dream of, I started applying for Reg posts (no National Selection). Each advert demand 20 printed CVs & a précis cover letter...
A trade paper published a 2 page splash from a learned Prof delighted how popular T&O was “for every post we have 300 applicants!”
I saw red. Back then T&O had few F1s/PRHOs. The bottom rung was SHO. 299 theatre-hungry surgeons condemned to perpetual ward rounds - the Lost Tribe
So I wrote back. Repeated failure had made me v v angry
*learning point: never EVER post angry letters
My reposte was published without a single edit. What about the other 299? I cried. Forcing them into pointless unsupervised “research” to be worthless papers for CV ticks?
Ripples of concern from past bosses, calling to see if I was OK. Fuss died down. Continued to apply. Weeks pass
Suddenly - the Miracle
Shortlisted. For a rotation in the south east of England (that *may* have proximity to the Thames)
Made a list. Printed CVs. Started visiting 🚙
Then a call came @scarlettmcnally won’t remember this but I will never forget nor cease to be grateful for her massive wake-up call “they’ve shortlisted you because they want to see who you are. They read That Letter”
My first experience of #girlpower
Looking out for each other
Now I knew - there was no chance. Still did the rounds, shook hands, left CVs.
Played the Game
Interview Day. 22 Interviewers on tables laid out to be 3 sides of a square. 2 full time clinicians. 2 HR & Deanery bods - every single other person was an Academic. As soon as I walked in That Paper was passed around
I was prepared (🙏) but I’ll not lie - it was brutal
So I didn’t get the job. I did get a 30 minute lecture on the Importance and Value of Research and the following day I got calls from both clinicians on the panel offering me Registrar posts for a year with a promise to get my CV on track (gratefully accepted & I love them both)
What did I learn? Well, 22 years later, the goalposts HAVE shifted, for the better mostly, and by People on the Inside

So Play the Game, with the best hand you can muster ... so You can get Inside the Tent
And continue positive change from there /end

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