Should the UK move to graduate entry only medicine?
Recruiting graduates creates a more diverse and better equipped pool of medical students
- By: Thomas J H Powell
- Published: 03 September 2012
- DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e4914
- Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;345:e4914
A decade ago, the first graduate entry medical degrees were introduced in the United Kingdom. Sixteen medical schools now offer graduate entry programmes (GEPs), with Warwick and Swansea being graduate entry only. It is time to ask if the programmes have been successful. Indeed, should we be considering a move to a US-style system where all medical students are graduates?
Graduate entry programmes have been the standard for medical education in the United States since 1910. The Flexner Report of that year described the inadequacies of medical schools and graduating doctors, and recommended that medicine should be studied only after a first degree. In the UK, the GEP was introduced in 2002 in an attempt to widen access to medicine and create a more varied medical school student population. Research has shown that students on GEP courses are more likely to come from socioeconomically deprived backgrounds and tend to have