- Ed Peile, professor of medical education
- Institute of Clinical Education, Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
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 …