Graduate entry programmes in medicine
There are currently four graduate entry schemes into UK medical school based at Oxford, Cambridge, Leicester and Warwick, and St George's Hospital, London. Career focus asked pioneers of the scheme at St George's--Linda Hutchinson, Patricia Hughes, and Peter McCrorie--discuss their experience
Graduate entry to medicine is not new. Graduates, mostly with science degrees, make up 10-15% of recent intakes to 5 year and 6 year MBBS courses in Britain. Most come into the first year, but some universities accept students from biomedical or life sciences or dentistry into the third MBBS year.
In North America medicine has been graduate entry only for several generations, and from 1997 four Australian medical schools changed from predominantly school leaver to exclusively graduate entry. Despite this change in practice, there is little research evidence on differences in subsequent performance between graduates and non-graduates. Research on students' age and outcome is inconsistent; some researchers found older students do better, whereas others reported the same or worse performance and rate of dropout. The strongest argument for admitting graduates and mature entrants is to increase flexibility, allowing people to make a career decision in their 20s and 30s,