Want to be a Doctor? Which school did you go to?
I’ve just read an excellent article in Personnel Today about accessibility in certain professions it got me thinking. Is it really the case that in 2012, people from a poorer background still have to fight tooth and nail to become a Doctor, Journalist, Lawyer or perhaps Architect. Statistics seem to show time and again that the vast majority of people in these professions come from wealthier backgrounds, but what are the reasons for this?
My view is that the traditional hirer bias is largely a thing of the past, with people now more willing to recruit based on abilities of the individual alone. I suspect that the issues stem from access to education, with university fees being the main culprit. When the Government introduced university tuition fees in 1998, a barrier was instantly setup, meaning that many people from a poorer background found it harder to afford university. With the recent decision to increase the amount that many universities can charge to £9,000 per year, costs will increase to a total of £45,000 across a 5 year medical degree in tuition fees alone.
Sadly it looks like for the foreseeable future, access to these professions is going to be harder than ever and this is clearly not for the greater good. If I was about go under for a major operation, I would rather have the brightest and best performing the surgery, not the brightest and best who could afford it.