medical schools council


An update on medical school final examinations


On the impact of the coronavirus on medical school final examinations, Professor Malcolm Reed, Co-Chair of the Medical Schools Council, has said:

“Incorrect information has started circulating relating to medical school final examinations. Medical students are continually assessed and a single ‘finals exam’ is not the sole predictor of readiness to practise. Some medical schools have waived certain elements of their final assessments in order to avoid risk to students and staff or to avoid diverting essential NHS resources at this time of crisis.

“The Medical Schools Council wishes to make clear that where this has happened schools have sufficient pre-existing and alternative sources of information to be certain that graduating students are safe and competent to join the NHS workforce and to help deal with the current crisis. No medical student will be permitted to graduate until the university has evidence to confirm that the person has met the GMC’s required standards and outcomes. Whilst the evidence used to confirm this might now be different from that which had originally been anticipated, there will nevertheless be evidence to support the decision to graduate a medical student.

“The public should be assured that all graduating doctors, whether they graduate early or not, will be of the high standard required to enter the medical workforce.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Medical Schools Council is the representative body for UK medical schools. The council is made of the heads of UK medical schools and meets in order to shape the future of medical education and research in the UK.
  2. All guidance offered is general. UK universities (in which medical schools are embedded) are autonomous bodies and each should act according to local pressures.
  3. For more information about this press release please contact Fahmida Yasmin, Senior Communications Officer at
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