Careers in medicine do not attract bright school leavers anymore
Elaine Griffiths looks at the downturn in applications to medical school, and the particular problem of the shifting gender balance
- By: Elaine Griffiths
Medical schools need to select medical students who are well motivated and have the skills and aptitudes that make good doctors. One such skill is the ability to pass exams. Just passing exams, however, will not necessarily make a student a good doctor. Medical schools are currently concerned, not just about the drop in the number of applicants for each place but also the lack of successful male applicants. Why is medicine no longer attracting bright sixth formers and can anything be done about it?
The criteria used for selection into medical school are similar throughout the United Kingdom. They include academic ability, insight into medicine (including work experience and attendance at courses like Medlink or equivalent), extracurricular activities and interests, personality, motivation, and linguistic and communication skills. The problem lies with the weight given to academic criteria, particularly to A level grades, which make medical school a challenging choice