Jumping the queue
Should medical students get preferential treatment in the NHS? Kate Mandeville considers the arguments for and against
I got a fish bone stuck in my oesophagus the other day. So I went along to the emergency department, was seen within an hour, and after much effort to juggle the burgeoning waiting list, was fitted into the gastroscopy list for the next morning. Perhaps this is due to a particularly efficient unit at my hospital, or the result of recent funding increases in the NHS. But it did make me wonder if the fact I said that I was a medical student had any influence over the speed doctors attended to me.
Many of my friends, when faced with a medical problem of their own, have made a trip to the relevant department. Here, they have invariably received prompt treatment by staff keen to help one of their own students.
One friend, after a particularly exuberant night out, visited our hospital genitourinary medicine clinic. At the reception, he