CHANGING TIMES, Australian Doctor (16 June 2006, Page 2)

Perhaps Dr Andrew Griffiths is not aware of the numerous changes in medical student selection that have taken place during the last ten years (Selection fails, 19 May). His criticisms about the inadequacies in the medical student selection are therefore not valid today.

These days, one does not need to get very high LCE score to get into medical school, since almost all medical schools have now instituted three criteria for selection, only one of which is the LCE score. The second is the results of an aptitude test called the UCAT (Undergraduate Medical and health sciences Admission Test). The third is the personal interview, which assesses the qualities Dr Griffiths considers important, such as the ability to develop rapport with patients, commitment, motivation and enthusiasm. The current selection system is therefore designed so that future doctors will be able, affable, available, affordable and adaptable.

In the current system, a student with an LCE score as low as 90 has a good chance of being offered a place in medicine. In fact, due to the quotas imposed by the Federal Government, it is far easier for a student from a rural area to get into medical school than a student from a metropolitan area with similar performance in the three selection criteria.