Editorials

Hepatitis B and medical student admission

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6933.870 (Published 02 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:870
  1. A M L Lever

    Recently published guidelines from the Department of Health have focused attention on protecting staff and patients from hepatitis B virus.1 Pre-employment screening of staff who undertake invasive procedures (such as surgeons and obstetricians) is being implemented.

    This week the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals has issued guidelines for universities on the fitness of students to practise medicine and dentistry in relation to hepatitis B virus. The guidelines recommend that all applicants for medical and dental courses should be screened for the virus and antibody before entry to medical and dental schools and be immunised where necessary. Students accepted for such courses will have to provide certificates of immunisation and immunity on registration. Students who are virus carriers and infectious will be excluded from the clinical stages of their courses. They will be counselled and advised on the implications for their future careers and on transfers to appropriate alternative courses.2

    This goes too far. All medical students should certainly be routinely immunised against hepatitis B …

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