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Sunday 25th August 2019

Medical students face job offer withdrawal

28th February 2013

A marking blunder in exams has cast uncertainty over job prospects for thousands of medical students in the UK.


The error could see many having their first hospital job offer withdrawn.

On Monday more than 7,000 final year students were told the region they were assigned to as junior doctors but the following day the examining body, the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO), withdrew all offers due to flaws in the scoring system.

It said it had found a potential error in the scanning process of the situational judgement test, a multiple-choice exam used to test judgement in clinical scenarios.

The UKFPO is now manually re-marking the exams and is expected to have the results back to medical students over the next few days.

Alice Rutter, the co-chair of the BMA medical students committee, described the situation as “totally unacceptable.”

“We view this problem very seriously indeed and will be taking action to ensure students who are affected are kept updated and supported,” she said.

The Medical Schools Council, which commissioned the suppliers who introduced the error, has apologised to medical students who now face an anxious wait for the results of their re-marked exam papers.

Executive director Dr Katie Petty-Saphon said: “I do understand how upsetting and frustrating it must be to be told you have a particular position one day and then to be warned the next that this might not be the case.

“We shall provide the results as soon as we are completely confident that we have done all we can to ensure their accuracy.”


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