Proposal to boost number of rural doctors sparks heated debate in Germany

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 12 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1982
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Germany’s health minister, Philipp Rösler, has suggested that medical schools take more account of interviews and place less emphasis on grade point averages when deciding which applicants to accept.

    In an interview published on Easter Sunday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Dr Rösler, a medical doctor, said that Germany has an oversupply of doctors in towns and cities, while rural areas face shortages of doctors, especially of GPs. He suggested that preadmission interviews could be used to help ease shortages by identifying medical students who would be willing to practise for at least a few years in rural areas.

    About a quarter of medical school applicants are accepted, most of whom have grade point averages less than 1.4 (where 1 is equivalent to a grade A, 2 to a …

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