Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Fairness and social mobility" are irrelevant in choosing doctors

Dr Sean McDonagh says that the new aptitude test that students must take in order to study medicine seems to "violate the State's policies on fairness and social mobility." McDonagh says the test puts "poorer and rural students at a disadvantage."

My reaction is: so what? Unless McDonagh believes that this new aptitude test will result in a disimprovement in the medical care available in Ireland why should I or anyone else - rich or poor - care. Surely the best policy is one that will lead to the best doctors, no? And that is the idea behind the new medicine aptitude test that all would-be medical students now have to take.

Yesterday's Irish Independent had a few articles about students who had scored 600 points on the Leaving Cert not getting a place to study medicine while some with scores as "low" as 520 did manage to get a place. And this should bother me?

Honestly, I don't need my doctor to be able to write poetically about Macbeth or be able to speak fluent French or regurgitate long passages in Irish. No, all I need is for my doctor to be a competent doctor. The math and science scores have to be good, but everything else can be adequate.