Symptoms of medical malaise 2

August 29, 2003

The upward trend in A-level and GCSE results has implications for mature graduates seeking to study medicine.

Students obtaining five grade As at A level in the 1980s was unthinkable, yet some schools produce more than a dozen such cases a year now. With the removal of age restrictions on entry to medicine, will not mature students be disadvantaged because they cannot meet the minimum requirement of five or six GCSEs at grade A?

These candidates might have applied to Oxbridge with such grades in their youth. Some of their school colleagues with similar qualifications will have become qualified doctors.

It may be advisable for medical school admissions staff to standardise their admissions GCSE and A-level requirements to the year candidates sit their exams, or else they may be turning away many able candidates through a rule that proves not only illogical but also dangerously ageist.

R. Johnson

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