Identifying problem medical students early
How can medical schools spot students who won’t make the grade?
Basic medical education is needed to produce graduates who can enter postgraduate training and be part of future healthcare delivery, for perhaps 40 years. Expected graduate outcomes in the United Kingdom are described in Tomorrow’s Doctors.1 Predicting what the future holds is difficult, and the outcomes naturally tend to focus on educational principles and current roles for doctors. A new version of Tomorrow’s Doctors will be released in 2009 following a routine periodic review,2 with a more contemporary, broadly based, and detailed description of the outcomes, embracing the current concept of “fit for purpose,” or readiness to work as junior doctors in the NHS.
A central feature of being a doctor is the professional role, arguably best captured within the CANMEDS (Canadian Medical Education Directions for Specialists) documentation and Good Medical Practice.34 Doctors in all specialties have a privileged place of trust in the lives of patients. We must put