Intended for healthcare professionals


Cheating at medical school

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:398

Justice must be done and seen to be done

  1. Richard Smith, Editor
  1. BMJ

    Recently the BMJ received the following anonymous letter.

    “Dear Sir,

    I am a graduating student of Royal Free and University College London Medical School. During the finals of clinical exams I was witness to one of the most ugly scenes in my short but eventful life. One of my colleagues had in a brazen attempt to obfuscate the examiners made use of her Oxford Clinical Handbook during her long case. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for her, she was caught red handed. The deed was not looked on kindly by the authorities, especially when she attempted to extricate herself by claiming she had also done this in a previous examination and not been caught—thereby (or so she believed) justifying her act…. My colleagues and I were convinced that she would receive her comeuppance.

    After meeting the disciplinary board, however, she was allowed to pass her exams without further ado. Fair play and honesty—two virtues I …

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