Apprenticeships for trainees get mixed reaction

Specialists have given a mixed reaction to plans for ‘apprentice doctors’ in England to qualify without the need for a traditional medical degree.

Health Education England is working with employers, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the Medical Schools Council, the GMC and other stakeholders on developing the plan.

Apprentices would still be expected to complete a degree ‘but via a different route than medical school’.

A survey by clinical news and health information service Medscape asked 909 doctors across the UK: ‘Do you agree with plans for doctors to train via an apprenticeship scheme?’

  • 43% rejected the plans;
  • 22% were in favour;
  • 6% were unsure;
  • 29% wanted more information.

The scheme would allow aspiring doctors to earn money while training.

Responses included: 

‘This could be a good system if properly organised and examined.’

‘Absolutely appalling idea. I worry about the future of medicine in the UK’

‘Where will it stop? Being a surgeon, I wonder whether you want to train plumbers into becoming surgeons?’