Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Independent school pupils dominate medicine courses watch

    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yes kids from independant schools do have an advantage, but you just have to rise above all that and show that, even if you don't have contacts all over the place and your Dad's not a high-flying surgeon, your better than them. It shows a lot if you go out of your way much more than others to arrange work experience, excel in your A levels and GCSEs, read further into the subject and just have more enthusiasm simply because you had to put in a lot more effort to get there. Yes some independant school pupils get handed work experience on a plate, but you learn so much more and gain more confidence if you organise it yourself. I used to be terrified of making phone calls and sending emails to people i didn't know but arranging so much work experience myself meant that i simply had to get over it, and it made me much more self-confident.
    Oh, and there's nothing more satisfying than hearing of independant school kids whose parents spend thousands of pounds on their education who didn't get in when you did
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Someone posts three things in a post

    1. A level results from ind. schools are better
    2. Medical schools need good alevel grades as part of the offer
    3. Here's my reference for this information

    How is someone to just assume that actually what you meant is:

    1. Students from private schools will do better in admission tests
    2. Students from private schools get more support in other aspects of their application
    3. Work experience is also easier for these students.

    Its not exactly a simple extrapolation of what you said, AT ALL.

    Alevel grades are not actually correlated that well extra support and advice either - my school has excellent alevel grades yet the amount of support and advice medical applicants get is horrendous.
    Okay, fair enough I could have been clearer. I was using A level results mainly as a surrogate for academic performance: I just think that is likely to correlate with admission test performance. The third point wasn't part of my second post at all - I was just conceding that you (and everyone else) was right to include that, and that it was a different argument to what I was saying.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Teveth)
    There is something very unsettling about what goes on in the Medicine application process. The system is quite simply flawed. Many very capable applicants do not stand a chance because they are not fortunate enough to have the necessary contacts required to receive work experience.

    Out of interest, does anyone know which other subjects have a large ratio of students from the private sector?
    I've said it on here time and time again but a lad I know, who went to the same school as me (state, middle of the road) who got A*s and As at GCSE (except French and Drama) and AAAAA at AS, AAAA at A2 got 4 rejections for medicine. Honestly, nobody could understand how or why.

    Unfortunately medicine is so competitive, if you've got contacts for work exp. you'll be favoured...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Do I agree with that? Well, to be honest, yes. If you pay more money to educate your child, you should get a better outcome as a parent.

    What if it doesn't promote social mobility? Well actually all I would do is ask the question 'is having a more socially mobile medical work force necessarily good for patient care?' - I don't think it is, I don't think it makes any difference. Other than that, I don't believe in this word 'fair'.
    Clearly you do believe in the word "fair"; you think it's "fair" to get a better outcome if you have a lot of money. A definition of "fairness" that benefits only the rich, but a definition nonetheless.

    Ignoring the clear advantage of having medics from a broad range of backgrounds that can identify psychosocially with the whole patient population, not just the rich privately-educated section of it, social mobility in general is good for health outcomes. If you think medical careers should be some kind of exception to that general principle perhaps you should defend it. Bear in mind we're talking about advantages for candidates that in many cases are essentially bought, not earned.

    I don't think we should lower the standards of medical admissions for state school pupils; if they don't have any insight into medicine then they don't have it, regardless of whether that insight was bought by their parents or gained legitimately. My proposal would simply be that we slap a supplement onto private school fees, tax their income, or do both, in order to fund access programs to medicine in state schools. Buy the advantages like access that private school pupils get, in order to get a more diverse workforce. Ban backhanded access to work experience through family members or old school ties. That would be unfair to people going to private school? Well, we don't believe in "fair", do we?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    I've said it on here time and time again but a lad I know, who went to the same school as me (state, middle of the road) who got A*s and As at GCSE (except French and Drama) and AAAAA at AS, AAAA at A2 got 4 rejections for medicine. Honestly, nobody could understand how or why.

    Unfortunately medicine is so competitive, if you've got contacts for work exp. you'll be favoured...
    100% of the medicine applicants at the private school near me were rejected and all had perfect GCSEs, ASs, straight As predicted at A2 and volunteer work....more than half of all medical applicants get 0 offers so it's not surprising at all, particularly as only Oxbridge focus on academics over personality!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Independent school pupils are far more likely to do sciences than state/FE college pupils - obviously sciences are needed for almost all medicine courses.

    As someone else said, about 20% of sixth formers are in private schools, so when you combine those two facts, 28% sounds very reasonable.

    Also, someone needs to do their stats homework - 28% is not dominating!

    Oh and re work experience - long-term voluntary caring work (eg care home, disabled children's school) is a lot, lot more useful than 1 week sitting in a GP reception!!
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Well lets put it this way, I wouldn't advocate bringing in legislation that makes the system "fair" towards state school students. The concept about private school students doing well is not based on my idea of fairness, its an observation about the world, something that happens naturally and something where intervention in the name of "fairness" would be unwise and undesirable.

    I don't agree with you at all about bringing people in from a "range of backgrounds". The thing is, it just sounds good. There's no actual benefit.

    As doctors we're trained to empathise with people who are ill even though many of us enjoy excellent health. The medical schools ensure that students have these skills. As I said in one of my earlier posts, the personal (character, dedication etc) and relative (grades and exams - private schools making these easier) aspects of medical school admissions are both requirements before you make an offer, so you would only admit the empathetic "rich people". So you do not need people from poor backgrounds to treat people from poor backgrounds. Aside from that, being able to empathise with your patient's social circumstances is an extremely small part of the picture, its far more important to have competent doctors who communicate well.

    No I don't believe in fair at all and what you're essentially doing is completely distorting the picture of what fair means. You are talking about a bunch of govnerment interventions designed to distort what is a natural system - people from wealthier backgrounds will be able to afford their children more opportunities in life - in the name of, essentially, fairness. If you showed me that students from poorer backgrounds (1) Perform more highly in medical school exams or (2) Are more likely to be dedicated towards a career in medicine or (3) Have a better opinion rating among their patients, then I would accept your proposals whole-heartedly. BUT - there is no such evidence and thus all of those policies are essentially trying to socially engineer the medical workforce for the sake of fairness, not reason or patient benefit.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    My proposal would simply be that we slap a supplement onto private school fees, tax their income, or do both, in order to fund access programs to medicine in state schools.
    So it isn't enough for you that the parents of private school pupils already essentially pay twice for the education of their children (as well as contributing to their school's bursary schemes) and, in doing so, improve the pupil-teacher ratio in state schools?

    the clear advantage of having medics from a broad range of backgrounds that can identify psychosocially with the whole patient population
    I don't want my doctor or sugeon to identify with me or to mix socially with me - and I certainly don't care about his origins at all. I want him to be highly competent in diagnosing and treating whatever is wrong with my health.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    the EMDP course at kings is 100% state school....and yet I believe of the 30 that get places....less than 10 actually manage to finish the medicine degree....

    so I suppose you could argue that those widening access schemes don't really work (although I'll be going on one) as the overwhelming majority don't actually get through it due to academic ability
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Well lets put it this way, I wouldn't advocate bringing in legislation that makes the system "fair" towards state school students. The concept about private school students doing well is not based on my idea of fairness, its an observation about the world, something that happens naturally and something where intervention in the name of "fairness" would be unwise and undesirable.
    There's nothing "natural" about a state that sees its role as preserving social status and riches. You advocate a position as much as I do. None of these people made their money by going out into the wilderness and building a society from scratch.

    I don't agree with you at all about bringing people in from a "range of
    backgrounds". The thing is, it just sounds good. There's no actual benefit.
    I think that's bull****. Someone who knows what it's like to be a minority in the UK, or poor, or disabled, is going to be able to tailor their advice about lifestyle changes etc more easily to patients from similar circumstances. Someone who's had the good life placed in their lap is going to have to work harder to give advice any better or more likely to be followed than "just, like, exercise, dude it's not hard! everyone knows how to eat healthy! and get a job lazy". Just like someone who got a B in chemistry A level is going to have to work harder to make up the difference in that in medical school.

    As doctors we're trained to empathise with people who are ill even though many of us enjoy excellent health. The medical schools ensure that students have these skills. As I said in one of my earlier posts, the personal (character, dedication etc) and relative (grades and exams - private schools making these easier) aspects of medical school admissions are both requirements before you make an offer, so you would only admit the empathetic "rich people". So you do not need people from poor backgrounds to treat people from poor backgrounds. Aside from that, being able to empathise with your patient's social circumstances is an extremely small part of the picture, its far more important to have competent doctors who communicate well.
    We can have medical schools ensure that people have skills in science and communication as well. You have just picked out a certain bona fide qualification to ignore because the rich don't have it. Oh, sorry, it's "natural" for medical schools to teach social empathy, and to completely ignore any "natural" talent people may have in that department in terms of selecting medical students, but not "natural" for them to teach other aspects of communication, and it's "natural" to use those aspects as part of selection. Right.

    There's nothing "natural" about the society we live in. "Natural" is living in a cave and dying of old age at 30. Most of what doctors do is try to change the "natural" history of a disease state. The right wing society devoted to preservation of property rights and inherited wealth over other outcomes is a political choice just like any other. Don't pretend you're apolitical just because you're conservative. You want to continuing excluding poor people from medicine because you value the state promoting property rights and inherited unearned advantage over social mobility and the ability to excel no matter what your circumstances; that's an active choice, not the immutable natural order of things. You didn't pay for your medical education! It costs hundreds of thousands of pounds. The state intervened to fund it because they don't want just millionaires going to medical school. You want just enough state intervention to benefit you, but not the guy just below you. Fine, but don't pretend that's not a choice and a political position.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    So it isn't enough for you that the parents of private school pupils already essentially pay twice for the education of their children (as well as contributing to their school's bursary schemes) and, in doing so, improve the pupil-teacher ratio in state schools?
    No. Read what I wrote again, my suggestion actually goes a bit beyond that. Hope This Helps.

    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I don't want my doctor or sugeon to identify with me or to mix socially with me - and I certainly don't care about his origins at all. I want him to be highly competent in diagnosing and treating whatever is wrong with my health.
    So do I. Part of treating you is giving you advice that you'll follow and not just ignore because the doctor has no idea about what it's like to live with your circumstances and gives impractical advice.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    Part of treating you is giving you advice that you'll follow and not just ignore because the doctor has no idea about what it's like to live with your circumstances and gives impractical advice.
    Of course, but you don't have to be a dustman's son to give medical advice to a dustman, or a king's son to advise a member of the royal family. Both groups would be in real trouble if you did, as not may doctors come from either group. You have to be medically competent (of course), reasonably intelligent, empathetic, sensitive and a good communicator. Such people come from all backgrounds.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    maybe this is a even more bigger case to make med school only for those who have degrees already, like the USA system

    most of the F1 coming though now are some what shocking
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Of course, but you don't have to be a dustman's son to give medical advice to a dustman, or a king's son to advise a member of the royal family. Both groups would be in real trouble if you did, as not may doctors come from either group. You have to be medically competent (of course), reasonably intelligent, empathetic, sensitive and a good communicator. Such people come from all backgrounds.
    Exactly right.

    When you (now refering to thisismy...) say things like "just, like, exercise, dude it's not hard! everyone knows how to eat healthy! and get a job lazy" you're not imitating well-off people, you're imitating insensitive people who would have never got in to medical school. Rich people are not all ignorant ****ers!

    I am in no way trying to be apolitical. You're right I have conservative views and thats at odds with your views and in that sense we're going to have to agree to disagree. BUT you ignored my last paragraph and that was the most important one. If you can prove that its better for medicine that we have people from all backgrounds then I would for your interventions because they make sense. The essential difference in what we're fighting for is that your policies are motivated by what is good for the applicants and doctors ie. people from all backgrounds having the opportunity to be in a decent career and I am saying that I don't really care about that because I don't think it really helps the only people I really care about, the patients...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    I am in no way trying to be apolitical. You're right I have conservative views and thats at odds with your views and in that sense we're going to have to agree to disagree. BUT you ignored my last paragraph and that was the most important one. If you can prove that its better for medicine that we have people from all backgrounds then I would for your interventions because they make sense. The essential difference in what we're fighting for is that your policies are motivated by what is good for the applicants and doctors ie. people from all backgrounds having the opportunity to be in a decent career and I am saying that I don't really care about that because I don't think it really helps the only people I really care about, the patients...
    I didn't ignore it, I just don't think it's too relevant. I've presented plausible reasons why it might be better. I don't have a peer reviewed fully controlled epidemiological study, no. That's a good excuse for ignoring my reasoning but it's not good evidence that the current system of less representative medical students is perfect.

    I gave good reasons why it would help patients. Adherence to advice is pretty important in medicine! I think it's very plausible that this would improve if doctors were better able to identify with their patients. There's no proper evidence for it, but I'd like there to be.

    Helping social mobility is a good in itself in any case, as long as it doesn't negatively impact patient care. Since I'm just arguing for measures that abolish inherited advantage, and not for positive discrimination, I don't see that it would. Unless you're going to say that having a surgeon as an uncle or a teacher who's a Mason and gets you back alley work experience is a bona fide qualification for medicine...
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    I I'm just arguing for measures that abolish inherited advantage, ..
    Presumably you are aware that a major component of intelligence is inherited. How do you plan to abolish the inherited advantage this provides? Or don't you think doctors should be intelligent?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    I didn't ignore it, I just don't think it's too relevant. I've presented plausible reasons why it might be better. I don't have a peer reviewed fully controlled epidemiological study, no. That's a good excuse for ignoring my reasoning but it's not good evidence that the current system of less representative medical students is perfect.

    I gave good reasons why it would help patients. Adherence to advice is pretty important in medicine! I think it's very plausible that this would improve if doctors were better able to identify with their patients. There's no proper evidence for it, but I'd like there to be.
    Well yeah but your reason was completely ridiculous! Its Good Bloke's dustman treating a dustman argument - as medical students you're supposed to be adaptable to everyone and its one of the entry requirements! Being able to identify with your patients in terms of their ill health without being ill yourself is much harder than doing it on socio-economics! And then you started implying that all rich people were ignorant ****ers and all they would say is 'go on a diet ha ha ha'; that isn't exactly a fantastic bit of reasoning!!!!

    Also I bet if you tried, you'd find evidence to say that state school students tend to leave medicine less that private school students...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Presumably you are aware that a major component of intelligence is inherited. How do you plan to abolish the inherited advantage this provides? Or don't you think doctors should be intelligent?
    Oh, really good point. I guess because some diabetes is inherited we shouldn't treat any of it.

    Come on.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Caspa)
    maybe this is a even more bigger case to make med school only for those who have degrees already, like the USA system

    most of the F1 coming though now are some what shocking
    Why are the F1s shocking for?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    Oh, really good point. I guess because some diabetes is inherited we shouldn't treat any of it.

    Come on.
    Now you are getting really confusing. What does treating diabetes have to do with abolishing inherited advantages? Are you now suggesting that only people with inherited illnesses should become doctors?
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.