Criminal records and studying medicine
Should a spent conviction prevent entry to medical school?
- By: John McMillan, Barry Wright, Giles Davidson, Jonathan Bennett
While academic excellence is usually a prerequisite for admission to medical school, other attributes and achievements can enhance an applicant’s chances. Given the competition for medical school places, any blemish on an applicant’s record, whether it is academic or illegal behaviour, is likely to put that applicant’s chances of admission to a medical course in jeopardy. Majid Ahmed’s rejection by Manchester, Cambridge, Leeds, Sheffield, and Imperial medical schools was related to his conviction for “burglary dwelling” when he was 16.1 Imperial Medical School withdrew an offer on fitness to practise grounds and because he had not disclosed his conviction on application. On appeal, Manchester reconsidered its earlier rejection and offered him a place.23
This article considers some of the main arguments for and against rejecting applicants on the basis of a previous conviction for a minor criminal offence.
In many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, it