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Getting a place in Medical School could be even harder this year


Labour market information - medical student places

A new report says there should be a two per cent reduction in medical student places for 2013. In 2012, 6,195 medical students started their studies so any reduction could mean 120 less places. Competition for medical school is already fierce so getting a place could be even harder this year.

Report findings

The Health and Education National Strategic Exchange (HENSE) report, published in December 2012, recommends a further review of the numbers is undertaken in 2014, and then every three years.

It also said that the number of commissioned dental training places should remain the same but did say that they should be also be reviewed next year. The cap on the number of medical (7.5%) and dental students (5%) in universities from overseas should also remain the same.

Career aspirations

Many students aspiring to be a doctor will not be deterred by the reduction, but, for those who are, there are career alternatives where the chances of gaining a place are higher.

Healthcare science degrees, for example, offer students the chance to use their science skills in a career that helps patients directly. Or they could be developing the latest healthcare technologies. There is a clear career pathway and the chances of getting a job after graduating are high. NHS Careers has developed a leaflet for young people on the degrees in healthcare science.

Radiography is another great career option. In diagnostic radiography especially, the UK’s seeing a shortage of trained professionals. Science skills are crucial and students will need at least one A level in science (as well as two further A levels in other subjects) to get on a degree course.

And operating department practice is an area where supply is not meeting demand. Operating department practitioners are critical to the surgical team and have a lot of responsibility in making sure that surgery is successful.

Whatever the reaction from students you are advising, they should know that there are many more careers in the NHS on offer than just medicine.    

Further information

The full report of the Review of medical and dental school intakes in England is available from the Department of Health website.



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