Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Internships: the fate of the slowest wildebeest

This all begs the question: should all medical school graduates be guaranteed a job?

Here are some arguments pro and anti off the top of my head:

  1. Costs a lot of train a medic: wasted if they don't practice.
  2. Entry requirements are very stringent and closely matched to likelihood of success in clinical practice (according to ACER anyway.)
  3. Poor students are weeded out during a very intense assessment process whilst undergrads which acts like a four / five / six year job interview.
  4. The intern year is a required element of training and should be viewed more as an extension of the medical degree.
  1. Some medics who make it through are clearly incapable of practice.
  2. A bit of competition keeps the students on their toes.
  3. Makes for a fairer playing field with other degree courses (accountants aren't guaranteed an accounting job in the government).
Not sure how I see it; perhaps the arguments are balanced. However, from experience there are a small number students who really do not have the motivation, aptitude or competence to practice (in my opinion, obviusly). So, in the absence of any programme of "rank and yank" during the medical degree, a degree of competition post-graduation makes sense.

But that's not to say I think that 40% of students should go begging which is what will happen if something isn't done soon.

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