PERSONAL VIEWS: Medical school culture: exam failure
A barrier goes up between those who have passed and those who have failed
- By: Ted Adams
I have just passed my finals, but only just. I failed one of the written papers and along with a number of others at Liverpool embarked upon five weeks of intense revision to try to bring my mark to the required standard. I haven't failed an exam that “counts” before but I've always had the idea that the purpose of teaching and examination was to produce effective doctors. And that teaching staff at universities will do everything they can to help students to pass.
Am I naive in my thinking? Is it wrong to expect support after failing exams? I appreciate that it would be better for students and teaching staff if exams are passed in the first sitting. However, surely it's in everyone's interests to give constructive support to those who fail, rather than to leave them with advice such as “you need to do more work!”