Med students to do remedial work

Fifty of the 53 University of Otago medical students found not to have met acceptable attendance requirements while on overseas placements will undertake remedial work, the university says.

The three remaining have been let off the hook, the university finding they did meet requirements "in the light of additional evidence".

"Details of individual remedial packages will be finalised with each of the students across December, and will require approval by the Otago Medical School," a statement said.

Each approved package would include significant additional community work, and possibly further academic work, to make up for missed time, provision of a reflective essay, and the resubmission of corrective elective reports "in any cases where these were misleading".

"Due to these ongoing remedial work requirements, the students will not be able to graduate in December.

"Students will also repay training grants for weeks of elective missed."

A Medical Council committee has interviewed the students who failed to meet acceptable attendance expectations and found their conduct was "clearly below the level of professionalism expected of doctors and inconsistent with the standards expected of the medical profession".

However, the students concerned will still also have their applications considered for registration as doctors.

"A number of the students were interviewed by the council’s committee," a spokesman said.

"The committee took an educational approach focusing on professionalism and the importance of a high standard of ethics and honesty within the profession."

Dean of the Medical School Prof Barry Taylor said elective placements were aimed at broadening overall experience rather than teaching essential clinical skills.

The students involved were already qualified to start clinical work.

“I am confident the students can move past the upset and disappointment and move forward with their professional careers. I have every confidence they will enjoy success and make a valuable contribution to the health of communities in which they serve,” he says.

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