Thread: UWCM and Welsh Students
30-06-2005, 04:32 PM #1
UWCM and Welsh Students
Students' medic places worry
Concerns have been expressed that University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff (UWCM) may not interview enough students from Wales.
South Wales West AM Dr Dai Lloyd is to raise the issue with management after concern from some schools and parents.
The university will not give a breakdown how many students from Wales it has interviewed.
But a spokeswoman said: "All applications are treated equally and on their individual merits".
Dr Lloyd, a graduate of the UWCM in Cardiff himself, said he has several examples of "disquiet" expressed from parents and schools in Carmarthen, Swansea and Gwynedd at sixth formers being rejected.
His own son heard he had won a provisional place at medical school in London, on the same day a rejection letter arrived refusing an interview in Cardiff.
The stand-alone UWCM was merged with Cardiff University last year.
It said it received more than 2,600 applications for the 300 places on the five-year medical course and 14 places on the six-year course.
It interviewed approximately 850 applicants.
A university spokeswoman said the selection process was aimed at finding students who had the "greatest potential to embark on a worthwhile and productive career in the medical profession".
But some sixth formers are unhappy they feel they meet the criteria but have had rejection letters saying they do not have enough extra curricular experience outside their academic background.
Would-be student Eilir Hughes, who took his last A-level exam at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor in Dolgellau on Wednesday, said: "My ambition is to be a doctor in Wales and serve the people of Wales and I thought Cardiff would be the first to support me...but unfortunately this wasn't the case".
His college principal Ian Rees said: "It's been recognised as fact that there is a shortage of medics who can speak Welsh in Wales".
The university said applicants were assessed in academic ability and potential, as well as "personal qualities appropriate for a career in medicine."
The spokeswoman added: "To achieve these objectives students are short-listed initially based on evidence of their academic ability and the personal qualities as reflected in their application form."
The university also said medical students were offered bilingual interviews and for those who wished to learn Welsh, while studying medicine, courses were available.
Dr Lloyd, a GP and a former Plaid Cymru health spokesman in the assembly, is meeting medical school management at the university next month.
He said he hoped the university could appreciate the "bigger picture" of shortages of doctors in the NHS in Wales and the risk of losing Welsh medical graduates who study elsewhere to hospitals in other parts of the UK.
The close relationship between medical schools and hospitals meant newly-qualified doctors often worked where they trained.
"It's more likely that someone from the Rhondda or Merthyr will become a GP there if he or she has qualified from Cardiff," said Dr Lloyd.
He also said the longer term answer was for Swansea and Bangor to have fully fledged medical schools, with Wales eventually following the example of Ireland, which had six medical schools.
I can see the points being made, however getting Daddy to mouth off against the University is hardly going to help. The point about medical schools in Bangor and Wrexham is commendable, but naieve - there is hardly enough places for the current students on clinical placements at the moment.
01-07-2005, 02:16 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Doctor, Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University
Isn't this just another example of a bad loser? I think that an appropriate proportion of my class are Welsh. About 20% of the year are first-language Welsh-speakers; very representitive of the nation.
I guess nobody likes to blame themselves if they fail in their applications or want to accept that not everyone can get a place at such a fine place as Cardiff, whether you're Welsh or not. Dai Lloyd has been quite active of late. Is someone positioning themselves for Plaid's top job?
01-07-2005, 02:28 PM #3
I think the wider issue alluded to here is interesting, though. Should Cardiff, as a Welsh medical school, give priority to applicants who are Welsh and/or Welsh speaking? I don't think it should but obviously I am biased! I think that Wales should look to recruit the best possible potential doctors and hope that they will feel encouraged to learn more about Welsh culture by, for example, the offer of Welsh language courses - and this is what Cardiff appears to be doing at the moment.
I can see it becoming a big issue if Plaid become more influential in Wales, though.
01-07-2005, 03:01 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Doctor, Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University
I would imagine that the balance is just about right. Many Welsh students, especially Welsh-speakers, choose to remain in Wales when they study for many personal and cultural reasons. This means that the two medical schools in Wales will receive a great number of applications from such candidates. It's sort of a self-governed natural selection which retains home students. Political meddling in quotas and positive discrimination in the admissions process is a bad idea. If you want to recruit a certain group of students then you should encourage them to apply in the first place rather than giving weaker students preferential treatment in the selection process.
I think Plaid's influence peaked in the 1999 Assembly elections. They lost their way after shifting to the centre to pander to non-Welsh-speaking Wales and were subsequently outed as an insubstantial and directionless party. Dafydd Iwan as a moderate just doesn't wash after his decades of hardline activism.
The relationship between the health service and state needs to be further separated. Local health boards should recognise the services that they need to provide on a community level and local medical schools should be obligated to help fulfil those needs with appropriate healthcare professionals.
01-07-2005, 03:06 PM #5Originally Posted by welshmed
Sorry but I have no idea about costs and dealings with setting up a new med school.Cardiff 2005 Baby!!!!
01-07-2005, 04:22 PM #6
It would not be feasable to for medical schools to pop-up in Bangor and Wrexham.
As I am sure other clinical students can testify, the resources for the current medical students are stretched - Swansea medical school will stretch this even more. There may be three students to each team - that is plenty. There would not be enough clinical teachers, spaces or patients to go round if an extra 500 students were added to the mix.
I would not like to see more medical school places without proper planning for the clinical years. Royal College accredited house jobs in Wales are extremely competitive now (roughly 600 applicants to each post) - there is not a shortage of doctors, no matter what Patricia Hewitt, Brian Gibbons and the media may say.
Modernising Medical Careers has led, and will continue to lead, to a mass exodus of junior doctors from the UK to the Antipodies to get proper training.
In terms of Welsh training, the Welsh assembly is encouraging Welsh students to stay in Wales by paying their top-up fees should they stay here.
01-07-2005, 04:38 PM #7Originally Posted by welshmed
01-07-2005, 05:14 PM #8
Im sure there are plans for clinical school in north wales... the idea being to open up the no. of places for the med school...
When this popped up earlier this year I was wondering how they could actually increase the numbers of people in the Med school - when we all know biosciences, in the pre-clin years, is pretty full.
Maybe we'll eventually have a system such as Oxbridge where we choose a clinical school (within Wales) for clinicals... *shrug*
x*Last one out of the forum - PLEASE TURN OUT THE LIGHTS...*
FY1 - Surgery - UROLOGY
01-07-2005, 09:25 PM #9Originally Posted by pipedreamer
Between F2 and the specialist training is where the competition lies, there is only a finite number of accredited training posts (or "numbers" posts) with every SHO competing for it - many SHOs are unable to find employment in a few months time. It has nothing to do with how many people qualify from Cardiff - that's pretty insignificant in the bigger picture.
02-07-2005, 02:08 PM #10Originally Posted by welshmedCardiff 2005 Baby!!!!