Fear MDs will lure students into specialities

MEDICAL students have warned the proliferation of full fee-paying MD courses will force young doctors out of general practice toward higher-paid specialties.

The University of Melbourne’s introduction of a graduate-entry MD this year has sparked concern from doctor and student groups that other medical schools will be forced into an “arms race” in order to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded market.

Australian Medical Students’ Association president Robert Marshall said the master’s-level courses, which can cost more than $200,000, allowed universities to circumvent the government ban on charging Australian undergraduates full fees.

“There is a real concern that once students graduate from these courses they are obligated to pursue the high-paying specialties, which is not in the best interests of the public or the healthcare system,” Mr Marshall said.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said