Hi, my name is Athitaya (Aimy). I am a final-year medical student from Thailand studying in Malaysia, and I am planning on applying to the UK Foundation Programme (UKFP) soon. In today's blog, I am going to discuss with you the possible new allocation process that might be taking place in UKFP 2024. I will discuss in this blog the following:
- What is Preference Informed Allocation (PIA)?
- What might change?
- Possible advantages of the PIA system?
What is Preference Informed Allocation?
Preference Informed Allocation is a new system of allocation proposed by the UK Foundation Programme in the hope of reducing stress in terms of the application process and toxic competition in the medical school environment and increasing the top choices ranking location for as many applicants as possible.
In March 2023, the survey was sent out, and results and opinions of stakeholders, including candidates who plan to apply this year 2023, were collected. The final decision is being discussed extensively and will be made public by May 2023.
What might change?
If the final decision comes out and this new system is decided to be put to use, there will be certain changes in how IMGs and even UK graduates approach the UKFP application.
The ranking system will be changed.
Instead of the ranking, the applicants will receive according to their decile score (EPM) plus SJT (Situation Judgement Test) score, which are out of 100 total as have been done until UKFP 2023.
Applicants will now receive a random computerized generated ranking, for example, ranking number 1 does not necessarily mean the candidate has the best EPM+SJT scores. This computerized ranking will determine whether you will get your top choices. Therefore, candidates' behaviours, including ranking strategies, may also change.
Possible advantages of the new PIA system
1. Less stress during the application process
When it comes to the application process, candidates, especially IMGs, must go through a considerable amount of paperwork for the process itself as well as for the VISA process and others such as examinations. It would help to make the process less stressful and intimidating if one less examination, like the SJT, is not used to rank where you will be allocated.
2. Less toxic competition among medical students and colleagues
It is known that toxic competition, either among medical students or work colleagues, is neither helpful nor good when it comes to practising as doctors need to be able to work in teams with each other as well as with related healthcare providers in different departments. Therefore, removing the strategies of ranking medical students (in decile) for them to rank their places of UKFP allocation may greatly help reduce the toxic competitive environment and improve students' mental health and well-being, which can lead them to be more compassionate and better team players in the field.
3. Getting your top choice
Now that there is no ranking according to factors other than your own luck if the PIA system is implemented, you can freely choose the top locations that you want according to your needs, and they will try their best to put you there. However, keep in mind that everybody else will also be doing the same.
There are always pros and cons of both the old and new (proposed) UKFP allocation system. The new allocation system is still being discussed extensively, and the final decision will come out in May 2023. Currently, we must sit tight, keep an eye out for possible new guidelines, and be prepared. Let me know what you think of the new random computerized generated ranking system.
Need More Help?
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