Impoverished students less likely to be admitted to medical school, students believe

More than half of medical students believe that people from poorer families have less chance to be admitted to medical school than their more wealthy peers, according to a study by student platform De Geneeskundestudent among its over 3 thousand members, Trouw reports.

In the 2017 academic year, the government abolished the central draw for study directions with a limited number of places, including medicine. Since then, faculties have been allowed to apply their own selection criteria.

And since the draw was abolished, prospective medical students have been trying to increase their chances of being admitted in all sorts of ways. For example, a quarter of first-year medical students took courses to increase their chances, like training courses to help them pass the selection exams. The costs of these courses vary from 150 euros to several thousand euros.

De Geneeskundestudent therefore believes that students who can afford these extra measures have an advantage over candidates who do not have the money to spare. And that does not benefit the diversity of medical students, the student platform said. 

Along with the national association of doctors in employment LAD and the society for the promotion of medicine KNMG, De Geneeskundestudent called on the government to reintroduce the central draw for medical studies.

A motion by the D66 and CDA to do just that will be debated in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, this week.