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Polemic: five proposals for a medical school admission policy
  1. C Cowley
  1. Correspondence to:
 C Cowley
 School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; c.cowley{at}


Five proposals for admitting better applicants into medical school are discussed in this article: (1) An A level in a humanity or social science would be required, to supplement—not replace—the stringent science requirement. This would ensure that successful candidates would be better “primed” for the medical curriculum. (2) Extra points in the applicant’s initial screening would be awarded for an A level in English literature. (3) There would be a minimum age of 23 for applicants, although a prior degree would not be required. This is to ensure that the applicants are mature enough to know themselves and the world better, to make a more informed and motivated choice of career, and to get more out of the humanities components of the curriculum. (4) A year’s full-time experience in a healthcare or charity environment would be desirable. (5) Applicants would be given two lists of interview discussion topics to prepare: works of literature and topics in healthcare politics.

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