Are medical degrees outside of London a waste of time?

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shahanne
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Obviously not asking this to offend anyone (so sorry if it does). This is also not my opinion - I know that all medical degrees are of value and the varying titles don't mean anything. However, I'm just wondering if there is something that I might be missing because, it's not like I want to apply to bad med schools either, so hoping someone could help me out?

I live in London and am applying for Medicine at Keele, Manchester, Cardiff and maybe Newcastle or Leeds. Today, my mum bumped into my old tutor who asked how I was getting on. When she told him of the aforementioned stuff, he basically told her it would be a waste of my time, and I'm better off sticking to med schools in London.

According to him, the degrees are worth less there and would mean that I'd end up working up north there or in Scotland, and not in London, and things along those lines. Apparently, if I apply for a job in London, a graduate from a London uni is more likely to get the job. I don't really understand this but, as I'd eventually like to come back home, this does worry me.

In my case specifically there are only a few unis I can apply to, since I haven't got the correct subjects, so he told my mum I'd be better off getting private tutoring for chem (the missing subject), either this year or next year and then apply to medical schools in London. (btw he doesn't offer the tutoring that I need, so I don't think that is his motivation behind all of this). His views are supposedly backed up by the fact that he comes from a family full of doctors/dentists, and that he was going to be one until he messed up his A-Levels.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I don't share these opinions and am only asking because I don't want to unwittingly put myself at a disadvantage. I also know it's a struggle getting onto a med programme when you've completed a subject outside of the normal two year time frame, and have already contacted unis about this. Anyway, hoping you can help - please be honest!
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artful_lounger
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No, a medical degree that is accredited by the GMC is going to get you a foundation post provided you pass it regardless of where it's from. Your tutor is wrong, and given that presumably he's not a practicing physician may not be the best source of advice.

While going to a London university (or Oxbridge) may provide some additional opportunities for academic enrichment which may be helpful if you later apply for a competitive programme (such as an academic foundation or more competitive specialties like surgery) there are other ways to develop such aspects of an application at any university (or in most foundation posts).
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tpxvs
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where you study medicine (within the UK) makes no difference what so ever, this is coming from a final year student applying for foundation training. your primary medical degree is worth the same irrespective of which UK uni you went to. london is the hardest deanery to get into for foundation training but it doesnt make it any easier to get in if you've trained at london. it all depends on your performance at medical school and SJT exam.
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Chief Wiggum
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Nah, sounds like nonsense to me.
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username1550751
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Much like OP, I don't plan to offend anyone with my comments. I would like to give a viewpoint of the other side, and if nothing then just play devil's advocate.

I am currently studying medicine in London. When I was applying in year 13 I applied for 4 London unis, because I was keen to go to uni in London; more so on a personal level of being in London, rather than on an academic level. From talking to people who are older than me studying med in London universities, as well as people who study outside of London, and my own personal experiences I would have to say that London is the "best" place to study medicine in terms of exposure. Considering that on placements the hospitals you will get the study in are in heavily urban areas, the hospitals are located in very very densely packed areas and hence serve way more people than anywhere in the country, even the bigger cities up north. Alongside this London has vastly more varied communities, hence you will get to see a variety of ethnic backgrounds and cases. These two factors combined mean you simply see things you can't see anywhere else.

All things considered I agree that at the end of the day you get the same degree wherever you go and studying at London doesn't mean anything in terms of where you will get a job at the end of your university study since everything is standardized. I want to hark back to one thing I said; I applied to London unis because I wanted to be in London, not because of the universities. You should apply to the unis which appeal to you and where you can see yourself being, that is the most important factor since you will be stuck there for 6 years so you should be happy. Ignore the nay-saying of this tutor guy.
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Someone123123
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Your tutor is wrong, but there is definitely a difference in teaching quality between medical schools, even though you end up with an equivalent medical degree regardless. So for example, I would consider courses that are PBL-heavy to be poor (my opinion) and courses that throw you into clinical placement too early also to be poor (again my opinion).

Apply where you think you will be accepted since medicine is tough to get into and you need to cater to the strengths of your application.
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ForestCat
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(Original post by fruitshoot)
Much like OP, I don't plan to offend anyone with my comments. I would like to give a viewpoint of the other side, and if nothing then just play devil's advocate.

I am currently studying medicine in London. When I was applying in year 13 I applied for 4 London unis, because I was keen to go to uni in London; more so on a personal level of being in London, rather than on an academic level. From talking to people who are older than me studying med in London universities, as well as people who study outside of London, and my own personal experiences I would have to say that London is the "best" place to study medicine in terms of exposure. Considering that on placements the hospitals you will get the study in are in heavily urban areas, the hospitals are located in very very densely packed areas and hence serve way more people than anywhere in the country, even the bigger cities up north. Alongside this London has vastly more varied communities, hence you will get to see a variety of ethnic backgrounds and cases. These two factors combined mean you simply see things you can't see anywhere else.

All things considered I agree that at the end of the day you get the same degree wherever you go and studying at London doesn't mean anything in terms of where you will get a job at the end of your university study since everything is standardized. I want to hark back to one thing I said; I applied to London unis because I wanted to be in London, not because of the universities. You should apply to the unis which appeal to you and where you can see yourself being, that is the most important factor since you will be stuck there for 6 years so you should be happy. Ignore the nay-saying of this tutor guy.
Obviously not been to Leicester then.

I'm always on the fence about this. Medicine as a student is about learning the bread and butter, not the weird and wonderful. I think that the UK is multicultural enough, that the majority of big hospitals have a wide and varied amount of ethnicities. And given the increasing strain on services, everywhere is full to the brim.

Yes, one of the London hospitals you're based at might have the countries leading expert in rare disease X so you might see a case that you wouldn't see elsewhere. So what? It may be interesting but will it help you pass finals? Nope.

Oh and another thing is that London is hugely oversubscribed with medical students. So you have to divvy up the learning experiences. Not so much of an issue at most other medical students.

IMO London is overrated for Medicine.
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indigobluesss
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100% complete waste. The GMC only recognises doctors that graduate from London ._.
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username1550751
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Woah chill out with the passive aggressive-ness buddy, just wanted to give another viewpoint.

Not saying that London is the only place where you will find non-white patients, just that communities are way more varied relative to other places, e.g. Royal London is right next to Tower Hamlets which has the largest concentration of Bangladeshi people in the country.

(Original post by ForestCat)
Yes, one of the London hospitals you're based at might have the countries leading expert in rare disease X so you might see a case that you wouldn't see elsewhere. So what? It may be interesting but will it help you pass finals? Nope.
Didn't even mention this... Although some of your lectures are taught by "leading experts" clinical teaching is nothing like that, the programmes are made so you get standardized teaching in each specialty so that your experience is useful.

Would also have to disagree with over-subscription. It's not like the entire pool of med students in London go to the same hospital; each uni has it's own trust which umbrellas 4-5 hospitals around London which it's own uni students are spread and rotated around over the clinical years.

I would agree that London med is overrated by people who have no idea about it, and think London is the be all and end all of places to study. However it's still one of the best places to study med hands down.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by fruitshoot)
Much like OP, I don't plan to offend anyone with my comments. I would like to give a viewpoint of the other side, and if nothing then just play devil's advocate.

I am currently studying medicine in London. When I was applying in year 13 I applied for 4 London unis, because I was keen to go to uni in London; more so on a personal level of being in London, rather than on an academic level. From talking to people who are older than me studying med in London universities, as well as people who study outside of London, and my own personal experiences I would have to say that London is the "best" place to study medicine in terms of exposure. Considering that on placements the hospitals you will get the study in are in heavily urban areas, the hospitals are located in very very densely packed areas and hence serve way more people than anywhere in the country, even the bigger cities up north. Alongside this London has vastly more varied communities, hence you will get to see a variety of ethnic backgrounds and cases. These two factors combined mean you simply see things you can't see anywhere else.

All things considered I agree that at the end of the day you get the same degree wherever you go and studying at London doesn't mean anything in terms of where you will get a job at the end of your university study since everything is standardized. I want to hark back to one thing I said; I applied to London unis because I wanted to be in London, not because of the universities. You should apply to the unis which appeal to you and where you can see yourself being, that is the most important factor since you will be stuck there for 6 years so you should be happy. Ignore the nay-saying of this tutor guy.
This is an n=1 trial, and hence totally useless. Unless you have experience of a wide range of medical schools, you are really unqualified to comment on which may be "best". And even then, my original comment would still apply.
Your second paragraph is much more helpful and relevant.

To answer OP's question, all med degrees in the UK are worth the same, and where you get a job depends on the points you have when applying. This depends primarily on your position at med school, your performance in the SJT and things like extra degrees, publications, etc. So you could argue that you are more likely to get a job in London qualifying at the top of what your tutor might perceive as a weaker "Northern" med school than being a lower ranked graduate, even from Oxbridge, let alone a London school (which I am sure your tutor would wet his pants over). The applications are done blind, so nobody knows which med school you have attended.
You need to primarily apply to the strengths of your statistics, and then to the places you would like to study for the next 5 or 6 years. A sure fire interviewee at Newcastle may well be an instant reject at Keele, and vice versa, so if your results are not suited to London med schools, applying here would be a total waste of time, however badly you (or some ill-informed, quasi-intellectual snob) want to go there.
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Nottie
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(Original post by fruitshoot)
Much like OP, I don't plan to offend anyone with my comments. I would like to give a viewpoint of the other side, and if nothing then just play devil's advocate.

I am currently studying medicine in London. When I was applying in year 13 I applied for 4 London unis, because I was keen to go to uni in London; more so on a personal level of being in London, rather than on an academic level. From talking to people who are older than me studying med in London universities, as well as people who study outside of London, and my own personal experiences I would have to say that London is the "best" place to study medicine in terms of exposure. Considering that on placements the hospitals you will get the study in are in heavily urban areas, the hospitals are located in very very densely packed areas and hence serve way more people than anywhere in the country, even the bigger cities up north. Alongside this London has vastly more varied communities, hence you will get to see a variety of ethnic backgrounds and cases. These two factors combined mean you simply see things you can't see anywhere else.

All things considered I agree that at the end of the day you get the same degree wherever you go and studying at London doesn't mean anything in terms of where you will get a job at the end of your university study since everything is standardized. I want to hark back to one thing I said; I applied to London unis because I wanted to be in London, not because of the universities. You should apply to the unis which appeal to you and where you can see yourself being, that is the most important factor since you will be stuck there for 6 years so you should be happy. Ignore the nay-saying of this tutor guy.
But what about rural areas? You don't really get to experience the countryside medicine when you are in London and rural areas are quite a bit different to urban ones.

Also, you'd be surprised how diverse East Midlands area is.
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username1550751
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(Original post by GANFYD)
You need to primarily apply to the strengths of your statistics, and then to the places you would like to study for the next 5 or 6 years. A sure fire interviewee at Newcastle may well be an instant reject at Keele, and vice versa, so if your results are not suited to London med schools, applying here would be a total waste of time, however badly you (or some ill-informed, quasi-intellectual snob) want to go there.
This.

Easily the most important thing about the entire application process. If you take anything away from this thread, or even this website, it should be this OP.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by fruitshoot)
Woah chill out with the passive aggressive-ness buddy, just wanted to give another viewpoint.

Not saying that London is the only place where you will find non-white patients, just that communities are way more varied relative to other places, e.g. Royal London is right next to Tower Hamlets which has the largest concentration of Bangladeshi people in the country.



Didn't even mention this... Although some of your lectures are taught by "leading experts" clinical teaching is nothing like that, the programmes are made so you get standardized teaching in each specialty so that your experience is useful.

Would also have to disagree with over-subscription. It's not like the entire pool of med students in London go to the same hospital; each uni has it's own trust which umbrellas 4-5 hospitals around London which it's own uni students are spread and rotated around over the clinical years.

I would agree that London med is overrated by people who have no idea about it, and think London is the be all and end all of places to study. However it's still one of the best places to study med hands down.
I would have thought a few weeks volunteering in Bangladesh should even this experience out??
Or if you then end up working somewhere where there isn't such a high concentration of this particular ethnic minority, how would this benefit you? In my experience, all medics need to learn the medicine relevant to the specialty they are practicing in, and if that means electives or secondments to experience it, that is what you do. A broad-based, comprrehensive medical education and the skills and drive to keep learning should be what all medical schools give to their students
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Democracy
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(Original post by shahanne)
Obviously not asking this to offend anyone (so sorry if it does). This is also not my opinion - I know that all medical degrees are of value and the varying titles don't mean anything. However, I'm just wondering if there is something that I might be missing because, it's not like I want to apply to bad med schools either, so hoping someone could help me out?

I live in London and am applying for Medicine at Keele, Manchester, Cardiff and maybe Newcastle or Leeds. Today, my mum bumped into my old tutor who asked how I was getting on. When she told him of the aforementioned stuff, he basically told her it would be a waste of my time, and I'm better off sticking to med schools in London.

According to him, the degrees are worth less there and would mean that I'd end up working up north there or in Scotland, and not in London, and things along those lines. Apparently, if I apply for a job in London, a graduate from a London uni is more likely to get the job. I don't really understand this but, as I'd eventually like to come back home, this does worry me.

In my case specifically there are only a few unis I can apply to, since I haven't got the correct subjects, so he told my mum I'd be better off getting private tutoring for chem (the missing subject), either this year or next year and then apply to medical schools in London. (btw he doesn't offer the tutoring that I need, so I don't think that is his motivation behind all of this). His views are supposedly backed up by the fact that he comes from a family full of doctors/dentists, and that he was going to be one until he messed up his A-Levels.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I don't share these opinions and am only asking because I don't want to unwittingly put myself at a disadvantage. I also know it's a struggle getting onto a med programme when you've completed a subject outside of the normal two year time frame, and have already contacted unis about this. Anyway, hoping you can help - please be honest!
Generally speaking, a large number of medical students from each graduating year end up working around the medical school which they qualified from. If you've spent 4-6 years putting down roots somewhere, becoming familiar with the hospitals, building professional contacts, maybe getting married or buying a house along the way, then yeah, you're going to be a lot less keen to make a major move. A lot of London graduates do end up sticking around London or the South East, but this is not a London specific thing. You can qualify from a non-London medical school and still go to London for work. And vice versa. But you should only do that if you actually want to live and work in London, not due to some made up prestige hierarchy.

One thing to bear in mind (something which needs mentioning not infrequently on here) is that you absolutely will not be able to spend all of medical school and your junior doctor training working in prestigious and historic central London teaching hospitals, despite what your teacher might think. They will regularly send you out to hospitals in the Home Counties and various satellite towns for extended periods of time because that's the way that medical education works in the UK. Whilst these places may be classed as "London" or "Thames" by the people who run postgraduate education, when you're sitting in a DGH in a boring motorway town you will be so far removed from the central London experience that you might as well be living in Scotland or up north.

I think London probably has a more extensive medical school culture than other towns and cities but that's because it has the highest concentration of medical, dental and veterinary schools of any city in the UK, as well as various medical organisations such as the RSM, BMA, the Royal Colleges etc. It probably is easier to attend talks and e\vents as a London med student, but you can always travel down if you want and even if you don't it's not going to make a difference to your education - London med students don't spend all their time hanging around in the RSM anyway. Social life is what you make of it, students will always be up for going out etc so you can still have an active social life outside of London.

What you hear on open days about encountering cases of TB etc in the East London is true yes - but the East End is no longer the main entry point for migrants entering the UK. You can see cases of TB and malaria in any major urban area e.g. Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham etc if you want.

If you're already limited in terms of the number of medical schools you can realistically consider, it would be really silly to reduce your chances by applying to unis which you know will reject you.
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nexttime
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(Original post by shahanne)
His views are supposedly backed up by the fact that he comes from a family full of doctors/dentists, and that he was going to be one until he messed up his A-Levels.
That doesn't mean he knows anything at all.

There is no preference for local applications and there are no plans to bring that in. Some schools tend to get better results than others, but London schools do not do especially well at all (and the difference is small and possibly not caused by med school choice anyway).

(Original post by fruitshoot)
From talking to people who are older than me studying med in London universities, as well as people who study outside of London, and my own personal experiences I would have to say that London is the "best" place to study medicine in terms of exposure. Considering that on placements the hospitals you will get the study in are in heavily urban areas, the hospitals are located in very very densely packed areas and hence serve way more people than anywhere in the country, even the bigger cities up north.
The diversity is a benefit versus some places and there probably are some benefits to having very specialist centres available (although anecdotally I am told exposure to these can be minimal/non-existent). London has big downsides too though, not least the very low patient to student ratio. London hospitals are absolutely ram-packed with students compared to elsewhere in the country.

Its also of note that your theory - that London gives better exposure - should be reflected in postgraduate exam results. It isn't - Cardiff (one of OP'c choices) beat every London med school and Barts in particular is among the very lowest results in the country.
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asif007
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Medicine is Medicine - which means it is the same wherever you go. Your degree has the same value whether it is from London, Scotland, Midlands, North East etc. I think anyone who looks down on renowned medical schools (Edinburgh, for example) just because they are outside London is a fool. You should be more concerned with which uni and/or teaching style will help you achieve success. You've heard the phrase "uni is what you make of it" - medical school is no different.

My only recommendation: Don't apply for Leeds. Their attitude is disgusting.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by shahanne)
Obviously not asking this to offend anyone (so sorry if it does). This is also not my opinion - I know that all medical degrees are of value and the varying titles don't mean anything. However, I'm just wondering if there is something that I might be missing because, it's not like I want to apply to bad med schools either, so hoping someone could help me out?

I live in London and am applying for Medicine at Keele, Manchester, Cardiff and maybe Newcastle or Leeds. Today, my mum bumped into my old tutor who asked how I was getting on. When she told him of the aforementioned stuff, he basically told her it would be a waste of my time, and I'm better off sticking to med schools in London.

According to him, the degrees are worth less there and would mean that I'd end up working up north there or in Scotland, and not in London, and things along those lines. Apparently, if I apply for a job in London, a graduate from a London uni is more likely to get the job. I don't really understand this but, as I'd eventually like to come back home, this does worry me.

In my case specifically there are only a few unis I can apply to, since I haven't got the correct subjects, so he told my mum I'd be better off getting private tutoring for chem (the missing subject), either this year or next year and then apply to medical schools in London. (btw he doesn't offer the tutoring that I need, so I don't think that is his motivation behind all of this). His views are supposedly backed up by the fact that he comes from a family full of doctors/dentists, and that he was going to be one until he messed up his A-Levels.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I don't share these opinions and am only asking because I don't want to unwittingly put myself at a disadvantage. I also know it's a struggle getting onto a med programme when you've completed a subject outside of the normal two year time frame, and have already contacted unis about this. Anyway, hoping you can help - please be honest!
A friend of mine who finished her medical degree just over a year ago explained to me that when applying for foundation year training in the final year, they ranked the deaneries in order of preference, sat some exams just before christmas and it was performance in those exams which determined how high up their list of preferences they got. The university they went to was not taking into account at all.
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username2312479
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(Original post by shahanne)
Obviously not asking this to offend anyone (so sorry if it does). This is also not my opinion - I know that all medical degrees are of value and the varying titles don't mean anything. However, I'm just wondering if there is something that I might be missing because, it's not like I want to apply to bad med schools either, so hoping someone could help me out?

I live in London and am applying for Medicine at Keele, Manchester, Cardiff and maybe Newcastle or Leeds. Today, my mum bumped into my old tutor who asked how I was getting on. When she told him of the aforementioned stuff, he basically told her it would be a waste of my time, and I'm better off sticking to med schools in London.

According to him, the degrees are worth less there and would mean that I'd end up working up north there or in Scotland, and not in London, and things along those lines. Apparently, if I apply for a job in London, a graduate from a London uni is more likely to get the job. I don't really understand this but, as I'd eventually like to come back home, this does worry me.

In my case specifically there are only a few unis I can apply to, since I haven't got the correct subjects, so he told my mum I'd be better off getting private tutoring for chem (the missing subject), either this year or next year and then apply to medical schools in London. (btw he doesn't offer the tutoring that I need, so I don't think that is his motivation behind all of this). His views are supposedly backed up by the fact that he comes from a family full of doctors/dentists, and that he was going to be one until he messed up his A-Levels.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I don't share these opinions and am only asking because I don't want to unwittingly put myself at a disadvantage. I also know it's a struggle getting onto a med programme when you've completed a subject outside of the normal two year time frame, and have already contacted unis about this. Anyway, hoping you can help - please be honest!
I'm sorry, but this tutor is full of crap. Unlike other courses, medicine is unique in the sense that after you graduate you become a doctor regardless of where you studied. There is no such thing as a 'bad' med school. Yes some are better than others but none of them are bad.

The most important thing is the teaching style. This link below provides you with more information about teaching styles. I've known people who have left Cambridge for Queen Mary's because they don't like the traditional style of teaching.

https://www.themedicportal.com/appli...rse-quiz/#gf_9
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moonkatt
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(Original post by ForestCat)
Obviously not been to Leicester then.
Or Birmingham. We're not short on hospitals here either.
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GANFYD
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This gives a good explanation of how FY jobs are allocated.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni.../guide-to-fpas

As it says, it is blind, and depends on your med school ranking, your SJT performance and any other academic points you may gain. The Deaneries have no knowledge of which med school you have attended, so this has no factor in whether you get a place or not.
London Deanery is always over-subscribed, so not everybody who applies there will get their choice, but the days of your tutor's relatives when "old school tie" and who you knew, not what you knew decided whether you got a job, or even my day, when you went along and had a chat before the interview and the Consultant decided how much they liked you, if they hadn't already taught you and decided who they wanted working for them are LONG gone. Things certainly used to work that way-I was "offered" house jobs by several consultants months before they were interviewed, but they don't any more, so ignore everything this guy has said to you-he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about!
Apply where you have most chance of an interview and after that, where you would most like to live/study for the next 5 or 6 years.
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