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Should undergraduate medical students be regulated? Yes

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 05 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1677
  1. Jane Dacre, director of medical education,
  2. Peter Raven, fitness to practise lead
  1. 1UCL Medical School, London
  1. Correspondence to: J Dacre jdacre{at}

    Jane Dacre and Peter Raven are convinced that regulation will prevent potentially dangerous medical students from becoming dangerous doctors, but Edward Davies (doi:10.1136/bmj.c1806) thinks it an absurd over-reaction

    The General Medical Council regulates the medical profession in the United Kingdom. As a component of this responsibility, it aspires to instil in our medical students a clear sense of their professional duty. It does this by writing guidance for all medical schools and by checking that its guidance is followed when it visits each school as part of its quality assurance process.1 This certainly helps but, in our view, is not enough.

    All UK medical schools now have fitness to practise procedures based on those for registered doctors2 and try to use them to encourage a strong sense of professional commitment and to deal with those students who stray. However, schools’ interpretation of the guidance varies. University College London recently held a series of informal meetings between the welfare deans of the …

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