“The HPat is an aptitude test. I think the medical schools were afraid that lots of students, who were really good at exams but couldn’t relate to people, were getting into medicine so they decided to introduce this test that examines what you would do in certain situations as well as reading and interpreting how someone might be feeling in different scenarios. There was an idea that you wouldn’t need very high points if you did well in the HPat but that’s not exactly the case as I found out. Still, I think it’s probably a good thing to make sure people going into medicine have more to give than brilliant Leaving Cert results.

“I was really young when I first decided that I wanted to be a doctor. My Mum’s a nurse, my grandmother is a nurse and I like the idea of being able to help people. I like the hands-on nature of the job. I’d hate to be stuck behind a desk all day.” (Times) >

(From The Irish Times >>>) A HUGE DROP in applications for junior doctor posts in hospitals across the State which fall vacant in January has been blamed on the fact that many young doctors are now emigrating.

The Irish Times has seen internal HSE documents which show that applications for junior doctor posts which need to be filled by the new year have fallen by more than half, when compared to a year ago, at some hospitals. Both large and small hospitals are affected and the recruitment problems may result in “significant gaps in service areas” next year.