Sara (slim_ivory_rose) wrote in med_school,

Should Medical School Pre-Requisites be Changed?

Only three countries require their students to have an undergraduate degree before entering medical school (the USA, Canada & Nigeria although Australia is heading this way too)
Everywhere else, as far as I know students enter at 18 years for a 5 or 6 year course.

When I started medical school I was 24 (the age most people start their house officer jobs, their very first 'doctor in training' job) and I definitely felt strange (and old!) among my 18 year old classmates. So.. I'm interested in hearing other opinions, do you think it is better to have a degree first or no degree?
  • As for my view, I think I would raise the entry age of medical school over here to 21.
  • I wouldn't want people to have to do another degree first as I think this would exclude those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and get everyone from all classes into too much unnecessary debt.
  • Also I'm not sure how much a degree does 'mature' ones outlook. I had an undergraduate degree before med school, but it wasn't until my first full time job that I really could consider myself a tiny bit wiser! Perhaps future med students time would be better spent in a working environment than a studying one?
  • If a person could enter at 21 but was free to have worked or studied beforehand, or perhaps travelled, if they had done something useful with their time, then perhaps they would have an air of maturity and less regrets when they start to realise that med school is all consuming.
Or to play devil's advocate, perhaps I am unnecessarily penalising those who know what they wanted to do from childhood and making them wait 3 years, who are mature at 18 years (some of my classmates definitely were!) Would making them wait until 21 to enter med school be unfair?

In my country, a student needs to decide at 16 if they want to go to med school (without a gap year) so they can pick the right subjects at 6th form college. We study only 3 subjects over 2 years in great depth, and for med school two of those choices have to be chemistry and biology.

So, would making people wait give people more time to decide, or would it unfairly penalise those that already know what they want to do?

Or, if you come from a country that required you to have a degree first, do you feel this has benefitted you? Hindered you?

I don't think I'm right or wrong, its just an idea, I wanted to hear people's opinions from far and wide. :)
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