Many of China’s less prestigious medical schools find it hard to recruit
students to train as doctors and othersfind that students with lower
scores on the national university entrance exam,or gaokao, will use the
lower requirements of some medical schools togain entry to university,
only to transfer later to faculties with higher earning potential.
"Compared to western countries, the social status and incomeof doctors
in China is not the highest, so [some medical schools] definitelyare
not able to attract the best students and the result is that the
profession of doctors is not the most elite in Chinese society," says
Huang Gang,vice-dean of Jiaotong University medical school in Shanghai.
Top medical faculties such as Jiaotong usually havelittle problem
filling their quota for students with good marks, he says, adding that
he would prefer to lower his grade expectations if the student is truly
committed to studying medicine. He says only about 5 per cent of
Jiaotong medical students transfer to another faculty each year. But
less elite medical schools, such as the one at Xiamen University where
Dr Wang studied, struggle to fill available spaces. Xiamen medical
school recently waived all fees for those training to be doctors, to
attract better candidates.