Thumbs Down to Doctors Without Medical Degrees: Poll Results

Tim Locke

March 19, 2021

Medscape UK readers have been responding to plans for apprentice doctors in England to qualify without the need for a traditional medical degree.

On Monday, we reported how Health Education England (HEE) is working with employers, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the Medical Schools Council, the GMC, and other stakeholders on developing a medical apprenticeship.

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

Apprentices would still be expected to complete a degree, "but via a different route than medical school", a spokesperson for HEE said.

A BMA spokesperson said the plans were "interesting and worthy of consideration".

Poll Results

We asked: 'Do you agree with plans for doctors to train via an apprenticeship scheme?'

There were 909 responses from doctors across the UK.

  • 43% percent rejected the plans

  • 22% were in favour

  • 6% weren't sure

  • 29% wanted more information

There were also a number of comments on the article. "This could be a good system if properly organised and examined," one doctor said.

However, for another: "Absolutely appalling idea. I worry about the future of medicine in the UK."

They added: "Who will train them? Who wants them!?"

Other negative comments included: "Terrible idea", "A retrograde step", and "This seems to be someone’s bird brained idea".

Another was "shocked at this idea", while another asked: "Where will it stop? Being a surgeon, I wonder whether you want to train plumbers into becoming surgeons?"

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