Is conscription a thing of the past? Not for some around the world. Peter Cross investigates how medical students are obliged to spend time in the army after they qualify
The time it takes to train as a doctor has increased in recent years. Intercalated degrees, once a minority pursuit, have become commonplace. In the United Kingdom, the preregistration house officer year will expand into a two year foundation programme at a time when more medical students are taking gap years. The time it takes to become a fully registered doctor is getting longer. Adding to this, in some quarters there is even talk of bringing back conscription.
Conscription is legislation requiring all able bodied men to serve in the armed forces. In some countries, such as Israel, women are also compulsorily enlisted. Conscription ended in Britain as the 1950s dissolved into the '60s, with long hair quickly superseding sensible haircuts that the military demanded. Conscription in the United States ended with the withdrawal from Vietnam.
But conscription has not gone away. In Austria, Greece, and Israel, for example, young