Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Setting The Limit on Doctors in Training at 7,400 per year

France limits the number of students who are trained in medicine via the numerus clausus. This is a restriction on the number of students who are allowed to pass from the initial year of medical training into the 2nd year. Essentially, the top scorers on the end of year examination are allowed to move ahead.

The limit is set by the ministries of higher education and research health and sport and is set each year around this time. The official notice gets posted on "Legifrance" which posts all official decrees and order. The order for the numerus clausus was released January 21, 2010.

By Order of the Minister of Higher Education and Research and the Minister of Health and Sport dated January 21, 2010, the number of first year students of undergraduate medical studies allowed to continue their studies medicine at the termination of the courses following the tests of the academic year 2009-2010 is set at 7 400, divided between the following institutions.....
The 37 medical schools are then listed with their quotas. These range from 550 (Lille-combined universities) to 8 in New Caledonia and 23 in Corsica.

The ministries pay close attention to the numerus clausus as a mechanism for adjusting overall physician supply--an issue that came to the fore in the recent past as it was apparent that France was going to see a decline in overall number of practicing doctors.

The Observatoire National de la Démographie des Professions de Santé (ONDPS) was established in 2003 to monitor supply and needs for physicians. It strongly supported expanding the training pool.

The numerus clausus fell from a high of 8588 in 1971 to a low of 3500 in 1992. Since then it rose slowly through 2001 to 4100 but, on the heels of several predictions of a doctor shortage, has risen rapidly to the 7,400 level This is slightly less than the 8,000 that was predicted a few years ago as necessary to keep the supply in line with population growth and physician retirement patterns.

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