A junior doctor with debts of #50,000 after putting herself through ten years of training told last night how she had been unable to get a job despite applying for nearly 50.
Melissa Marlow should have been starting the crucial middle stages of her training this week, but instead finds herself unemployed. She is one of a number of junior doctors, who cost nearly #250,000 to train, who are unable to get a senior house officer post because of intense competition and a lack of jobs.
Miss Marlow, aged 30, from Diglis, Worcester, said she felt "pretty awful," as she prepared to work her final day at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital yesterday .
She said: "I have applied for 50 jobs over the past six months and I haven't got one to go to. I'm in a lot of debt and have to find a way of paying that back so I have to find work as a locum in accident and emergency.
"I'm in a better position than most others because at least I have accident and emergency experience, whereas other junior doctors do not have that."
Miss Marlow has had to put her marriage plans on hold and will be moving to Bristol to be with her boyfriend, who is also a doctor.
She said: "There is a shortage of senior doctors but there are too many junior doctors for the number of posts available."
The British Medical Association said the number of SHO jobs in the British Medical Journal fell by half between May 2002 and May 2005. It has written to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt outlining its concerns.