When asking why an FRCP was required, I was asking in the context of a 2nd year medical student observership - not the emerg keening clinical clerk or resident. To me, the needs of these two groups are very different. One has a clear need for facetime with a group of people who pay dues to a specific college and the other I would argue does not.
An FM2 wanting to work with Christine or Grant or other CCFPEMs to improve their chances of securing an R3 position, or a clinical clerk wanting to work with certain clinicians to secure a specific type of reference letter for their FRCP program application makes perfect sense. Networking and face time are very important for everyone involved. We don’t allow these FM2s or clinical clerks to stipulate that they only work with their chosen group so why would we do this for early year medical students?
What are the needs of preclinical medical students seeking an ED observership? Should these be entirely determined by the requesting student? I cannot remember this ever having been debated but maybe it should.
I think all of these students need a great exposure to the career of an Emerg doctor, mentoring and support and if there is interest, help with appropriate networking as they move forward into the clinical part of their career. The letters after the supervisor’s name have no impact on his/her ability to deliver this. College specific advanced networking and letters of reference – these should be part of the clinical clerk and resident years. In my opinion this should cover all of the observership requests unless there are truly exceptional circumstances. Does this cohort of seven preclinical medical students who have all decided to focus their emerg experience with an FRCP mentor constitute exceptional circumstances? Do these students, who have not worked 5 minutes in a clinical setting, have enough of an understanding of the subtleties of the specialty of Emergency Medicine to narrow their scope in this way or any way? Or do they think that when making their observership request through the FRCP residency director this is the right way to ask for it? I don’t know the answer to this but think it isn’t unreasonable to ask.
Should all special requests be put forward without question? Several people agree with this – “if they want it, let them have it”. For me to agree, I need one more clause in there. If they want it – and there is something objectively unique that will be provided – then let them have it. If not, one size fits all. I have been around long enough to have experienced a time when some medical students and residents have requested only the male supervisory experience. The active decision by consultants to not allow them to make that choice helped close another divide that needed to be closed.
Clearly not many answers here but think it is OK to keep asking questions.