‘Unsuitable medical students to be expelled more quickly’

‘Unsuitable medical students to be expelled more quickly’



Examination boards of the eight Dutch medical colleges are coming up with a plan to make it easier to expel dysfunctional students. This concerns students who show unprofessional behavior and thus endanger the safety of patients. Research shows that “such students are more likely to encounter disciplinary law later on.” The regulation by which these students can be removed from the program since 2010 just proves not to work in practice.


Among other things, students must be shown to be endangering others. “But if there are indications that a student could be a danger, you don’t leave that person alone with a patient,” explains clinical geneticist and Chair of the Erasmus MC examination committee Fred Petrij. In addition, the procedure is said to be complex and “takes so much time and energy that the examination committees often don’t even start. The regulation has been used successfully three times in over ten years, while it is estimated that there are at least two unqualified students at each medical school.


The exam boards now want to broaden the regulation. Supervisors’ assessments that a student cannot be left alone with a patient should be given the same weight as a situation in which patient safety is actually violated. They also argue for a Professional Conduct portfolio – a kind of Certificate of Good Conduct – that goes with the student, even when he or she changes universities. (HOP, JvE)


News editor Annebelle de Bruijn

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