Student soapbox: playing the lottery
- By: Jan Adriaan Coebergh
Limiting numbers of medical students in the Netherlands started as a practical constraint on facilities. 1 In many countries, however, the number of people who want to become doctors is bigger than governments think they need or are prepared to pay for. Unemployed doctors have a high economic cost. So selective admission procedures exist.
In Britain it is believed that doctors can be selected by individual universities. The universities consider exam results, personal statements, and references, and they often interview candidates.
But in the Netherlands the authorities do not think that a person who will make a good doctor can be selected at the age of 18. The admissions problem first arose at the end of the 1960s, at a time of increased access and expanding universities. From a philosophy of equal opportunities, egalitarianism, and the perceived lack of a better method it was decided that a central, weighted lottery