Universities want to expel unprofessional medical students more quickly
The eight Dutch medical examination boards want to increase the legal possibilities of removing underperforming students from the program. This involves students who repeatedly display unprofessional behavior, systematically arrive late, and don't take feedback seriously, the chairmen of the boards said in the Dutch Journal of Medicine. They want to prevent vulnerable patients from getting an incompetent doctor, the Volkskrant reports.
In 2010, a legal regulation was implemented to expel medical students who exhibit "morally reprehensible behavior." But the Iudicium Abeundi (IA) almost always fails in practice because the accusers have to prove that the student violated patient safety. "We have to meet impossible requirements to collect the burden of proof," said Mario Maas, chair of the National Consultation on Chairs of Examination Boards of Medicine (LOVEC).
In its 12-year existence, the IA procedure has only been used successfully three times. All three cases involved concrete violations of the rules of conduct. One student sent sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old patient. Another repeatedly used an authoritarian tone towards patients. And the third threatened to distribute revealing selfies of his ex in the hospital where she worked.
The chairmen of the examination boards feel that the heavy burden of proof inhibits them from performing their primary duty - issuing diplomas to doctors who will perform the profession properly. They want to broaden the IA regulation so that a counselor's assessment that a student can't be trusted alone with a patient has the same weight as a situation in which patient safety is at risk.