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BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 01 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:0405196
  1. James McCaul, specialist in maxillofacial surgery1,
  2. Emma Jones, SHO in ophthalmology2,
  3. Mark Wilson, SHO in neurosurgery3,
  4. Evelyn Ong, clinical research fellow4,
  5. Peter Skew, president of the British Institution of Musculoskeletal Medicine,
  6. Nick Beeching, senior lecturer in infectious diseases5
  1. 1Glasgow
  2. 2Oxford
  3. 3London and author of the Guide to work and electives around the world
  4. 4Great Ormond Street Hospital, London
  5. 5Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

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Is it possible for dentistry graduates to undertake an accelerated medical course (four years)?

There are several medical schools around the United Kingdom where a dental graduate (preferably with maxillofacial experience) can study medicine with exemption from part of the course. Up to date details are available via the website of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) from the BAOMS medical students group ( regarding which universities offer the shortest courses.

What can I do as a medical student if I am interested in ophthalmology?

It is very important to speak to ophthalmologists at your university hospital, and sit in on clinics. A BSc in a subject related to ophthalmology is desirable, and research projects in ophthalmology undertaken on elective are excellent opportunities which may result in a publication. The Institute of Ophthalmology at Moorfields advertises medical electives, which you can apply for. Most universities will have essay and exam …

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