Life in the fast lane: graduate entry to medicine
In the United Kingdom, the number of four year fast track graduate entry programmes to medicine has expanded, and 700 students are now recruited this way every year. But are these courses better, worse, or just different? Bruno Rushforth finds out more
The number of medical student places in the United Kingdom has dramatically increased in recent years, with intake up by 60% since 1997.1 This drive to recruit more doctors has led to an increase in the number of places at existing schools, four brand new medical schools, and different types of courses in an attempt to attract potential applicants from a wider range of backgrounds and with broader life experiences.
In the past, many medical schools accepted a small proportion of mature students on their traditional courses. Such students already held another degree or had been working before deciding to study medicine and studied the standard five or six year undergraduate course, alongside school leavers.
Fast track four year graduate entry courses, specifically aimed at those with a previous degree, did not exist in the United Kingdom 10 years ago, but today 14 graduate entry programmes exist, and further expansion