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Are there too many students in medical school?

With the need to train hundreds of potential medical students a year many Australian hospitals are starting to express concern that there are too many graduates coming through the system. This is quite a shock for many medical students who think that once they have attained the grades they need in med school that the rest is plain sailing.

At a recent conference in Perth Medical students were warned that it might be the case in the future that public hospitals won’t be able to guarantee placements for all students. The controversy erupted when the president of the Australian Medical Student’s Association- James Churchill- opposed the formation of a third medical school in West Australia by Curtin University. While of course another institution to advance the study of medicine is worthwhile there might be unforeseen repercussions.

Due to the popularity of medicine as a chosen field the number of graduates has doubled since 2006, causing a strain on internship places. In 2012 a staggering 450 graduates will struggle to find placements. By 2016 this figure is expected to be almost 1500 intern places. some if not many which might not be filled! This could have big spin off effects for doctors and other medical professionals who Australia has relied on in the past to make up any shortfalls. This open door policy for foreign medical practitioners will certainly change if more places are needed for Australians.

It’s not all doom and gloom as if you’re a top flying student your grades will certainly be more than enough to make you stand out from all the other interns applying for these sought after places. Remember to be diligent in your studies from the beginning, especially if it is becoming more difficult to get a placement.

January 4, 2013

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