The Dunedin School of Medicine reviewed its student
identification processes yesterday, following the "alarming"
revelation of a fake medical student in Auckland, University of
Otago Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Peter Crampton said.
"It's prompted us to review our procedures for correct
identification of students to make sure it couldn't happen
here," he said.
Prof Crampton was confident an "impostor" student would be
quickly picked up at the Dunedin school.
Its processes for identification were rigorous, and its
programme was structured differently from the University of
Auckland's medical school.
In Dunedin, students worked in small groups of nine or 10
from the first year of the medical programme.
The male student in Auckland studied biomedical science in
2010 and then failed to get into medical school. But he
carried on attending classes, including cadaver dissections,
and may have gone on hospital placements.
The head of Auckland University's medical programme,
Associate Prof Warwick Bagg, said the man's act would have
been "untenable" next year, as the Auckland medical students
split into smaller learning groups.
Prof Crampton said the school checked its procedures for
student identification, and found them to be strong. These
included checking off those attending small group sessions on
a list with student photographs, and making access to
dissection rooms subject to an electronic code.
The only area of the programme non-students could access was
lectures, but these were not highly sensitive.
Being accepted into the medical programme after the health
sciences year was highly competitive, Prof Crampton said.
The university ensured students were advised of other
programmes they could enter if they missed out on medicine.