Getting a place in medicine

Sat, Apr 6, 2013, 05:58

Sir, – I would go one step further than Dr Miriam Casey (March 22nd). She is advocating that those with dyspraxia would be given an exemption from the HPat exam. Having looked at the material involved in the HPat in detail in recent years, I would be strongly of the opinion that any connection with the results of the HPat and a person’s suitability to do medicine is entirely spurious. I know someone who, having not succeeded in getting a medical place on the first occasion, spent six months studying the HPat and HPat-like exams on the internet and succeeded in the subsequent HPat in gaining an “aptitude for the study of medicine”!

I have spent 10 years as a tutor in general practice and have spent seven years involved in training young doctors to become general practitioners. I am strongly of the opinion that it defies belief that the HPat has an ability to choose students who will become excellent general practitioners, neurosurgeons, medical researchers, or state pathologists for the future. The HPat, in my opinion, is nothing but a severe mental and financial burden on students interested in studying medicine and their families. – Yours, etc,

Dr CIARÁN DONOVAN,

Park Grove,

Parklands,

Commons Road, Cork.