Jobs for Medical Grads a Hot Topic in United Kingdom

May 2, 2008

The availability of physician jobs for medical graduates in the United Kingdom is the subject of a Head to Head feature in the May 3 issue of BMJ.

FRIDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- The availability of physician jobs for medical graduates in the United Kingdom is the subject of a Head to Head feature in the May 3 issue of BMJ.

Taking the position that a lack of jobs for medical graduates in the United Kingdom is an issue of concern, Graham Winyard, a former postgraduate dean in Winchester, Hampshire, U.K., writes that 1,300 U.K. graduates couldn't find training opportunities in 2007, a situation that may be repeated in coming years. Policy decisions in the late 1990s expanded medical-school slots by 40 percent, but more than 10,000 overseas graduates are currently competing with U.K. graduates for medical training posts. "This situation is impossible to defend on any front. It is completely incoherent in policy terms; we carefully planned and invested to achieve greater medical self-reliance and thereby protect other countries, only to throw our doors open to all comers," he writes.

Taking the opposing view, Alan Maynard, a professor of health sciences at the University of York, writes that students choosing to study medicine take a risk that they won't be able to secure a job -- and these graduates can seek employment elsewhere in the job market. At any rate, the expanding responsibilities granted to nurse specialists may also reduce the demand for medical graduates.

"The purpose of the National Health Service (NHS) is to deliver patient care that is compassionate and efficient. It should not guarantee the employment of medical graduates or any other group regardless of patient need, personal skills, and the finite resource constraints of the NHS," Maynard concludes.

Full Text -- WinyardFull Text -- Maynard

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