I think it's unlikely. What would be the advantages to a medical school of favouring students purely on the school they come from? The power balance is very much on the medical school's side - some long-forgotten ex-pupil who's now a headteacher/a school with a shiny name etc etc probably doesn't have that much to offer the medical school to make it worth their while. Quite apart from the rather unethical nature of such an arrangement vs the ethics of the medical profession!
Anyway, don't medical schools trust their own application processes to find the best students?
I can see that trust is important when it comes to the reference. It could be that one school becomes known as writing honest references (although this is just as likely to be a state school as a private school), so (in the very hypothetical situation) of two pupils from different schools with identical references, the one from the trusted school might be preferred. Although I think this process is far more likely to work in reverse - in a huge field of applicants, schools are only noticed if they have written references that turn out to be falsely positive - future references are then treated with scepticism.
Certainly, schools often claim to have links with medical schools or particular unis. A couple of reasons for this could be:
- One teacher or ex-pupil went there and has sent back glowing reports of the place. So then everyone at the school is encouraged to apply there over other medical schools. Some get in. They are no more likely to get in than applicants from other schools but because lots apply compared to the size of the school, lots get in.
- Cynically, it suits the school to claim 'special links' and is pretty hard to disprove, esp. if statistics from the above set of circumstances are quoted!
So yeah, I think it's pretty darn unlikely that this actually happens!
Last edited by Madprof; 18-08-2011 at 22:57.