Doctor on board

Spreading the net wider

David Boddy talks to ITM’s Andy Homden about a new careers initiative designed by the Royal Society of Medicine to encourage more applications to schools of medicine from a wider range to school leavers.

Doctor shortage

Careers education and social mobility are currently hot topics. One of the issues is to encourage young people to have an open mind when thinking about a potential career. Just how do you convince them to think about something that they might never have considered, but to which they might be entirely suited?


This is the question that the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), and its partner, the Medic Portal have set themselves. Doctors, like engineers, it seems, are in short supply and the RSM want to encourage more secondary students to consider a medical career.

In an innovative venture with the British education group, ASIS, they have launched an initiative which they believe could provide some of the answers, and which might well be of interest to schools internationally.

90 minute test

‘Fit to be a Doctor?’ is a 90-minute on-line test for students aged 14-18 designed to show the next generation of doctors what they need to do to gain entry to medical schools across the world and is now available to take at test centres in the UK, Ireland and around the world. The test is the first in a series of BUSSATs career guidance tests developed by Anglo Schools International Services (ASIS) in partnership with The Medic Portal and the Royal Society of Medicine.

Not just academic

The RSM believe this is the first test of its kind on the market that gives aspiring medical students the kind of practical guidance they need, not only about about the academic skills they require to improve their chances in a highly competitive application process, but also about the personal qualities that make for a successful career in medicine.

Feedback and RSM Membership
Each test taker receives detailed support and advice to help them improve their skills across the board, before they sit medical school entry tests. To help them further, the Royal Society of Medicine is also making available to each test taker the latest research and best-practice exemplars from its video library, a resource normally reserved solely for RSM members.
Good fit?

David Boddy, the Chairman of ASIS, who are working with the RSM to make the test available, thinks that the initiative is an important one:

“The RSM and the Medic Portal are leaders in medical education across the world. Their aim is to ensure that standards of medical practice are at the highest possible levels, while recruiting applicants from a wider base.

“Using the test results you are able to analyse whether a candidate’s ambition to go into the field of medicine is matched by their talent and aptitude.  Furthermore, we can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and can also outline which areas of medical practice for which they would be best suited.”

A sign of things to come

According to Boddy, this kind of test, developed with and by a relevant professional body is a sign of things to come:

“The light it sheds on the personal and professional demands of a career in medicine will encourage more young people to think about a medical  career. The hope is that those who are best fitted to meet its challenges will then go on to choose it”.

There are, it seems, already plans for developing further tests with the professional associations of the legal and engineering sectors. Watch this space.

David Boddy was talking to ITM’s Andy Homden

This survey is the first in a series of BUSSATs career guidance tests developed by Anglo Schools International Services (ASIS) in partnership with The Medic Portal and the Royal Society of Medicine?

For further information about the new test, go to or e-mail

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