Guide and support students with difficulties
Richard Hays highlights the importance of identifying “problem students” early and proposes sensible means by which students can be helped.1 However, we don’t think he goes far enough in offering practical solutions as to how such students can be identified.
It’s postulated that selecting academically strong candidates on the basis of a 15 minute interview and subsequent contact with students during formal teaching and assessments may be enough to root out the “problem students.” But what about students who develop mental health problems after joining medical school or after exams or cleverly disguise their dishonest behaviour from the medical school and hospital staff?
We think that medical students are more open with fellow students than with authority figures. Involving medical students is likely to be an effective strategy to help identify problem students early. Clear guidance and support for students who are undergoing difficult circumstances are needed—and for reporting fellow