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Should all medical students be graduates first? Yes

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39283.476725.BE (Published 22 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1072
  1. Ed Peile, professor of medical education
  1. Institute of Clinical Education, Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
  1. ed.peile{at}warwick.ac.uk

    Most people enter medical college straight from school. Ed Peile argues that changing to a single system of graduate entry medical schools would provide the diverse multiskilled workforce needed for the future, but Charles George thinks that there is insufficient evidence to make this a criterion of entry

    We must stop the headlong rush of pupils going straight from school into five year long medical courses. Bright teenagers are encouraged by teachers and parents to maximise their potential by aiming for the kudos and earning power of medicine. As consultants in their 20s, they will have little more breadth to their life experience than when they were studying during the week and spending their weekends meeting the unwritten requirements for school leavers to get into medical school—by working in care homes, hiking for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, and practising for grade VIII cello.

    If we do what we have always done, we will always get a niche medical workforce. Selection is a different matter when students have had a chance to prove themselves independently, meeting the challenges of a university setting, and perhaps those of the workplace.

    Diversity of the medical workforce has been hampered for too long …

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