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A feeling of “sham”: after the reform, the challenge of integrating new medical students



Here they are at the heart of the matter. Not long ago, the second year medical students at the University of Lorraine began their first internship at the hospital, between stage fright and excitement. Interrogation of the patient, report, taking of the constants… The pride can be read on the faces. “It did something to me to wear the stethoscope offered by my grandmother”, says Marine, doing an internship in a maternity hospital. “Before really learning to auscultate a patient, I asked myself a lot of questions, I came to wonder if I was really in second year of medicine, if it was not just a sham”, Fanny also testifies.

“Students reproached us for being illegitimate”

If the young woman had such doubts, it is because, like Marine, she only joined the faculty of medicine in September, after a first year in health access license (Las). A course created in 2020 and which allowed him to reach the second year of medicine after an L1 in biology, with minor health. At the start of the school year, these students found themselves seated alongside those who had gone through the first year entirely dedicated to medicine, the specific health access path (Pass).Not without some anxiety. “Last year, on social networks, students registered for the Pass attacked us. They reproached us for being illegitimate, for taking places for them in the second year ”, testifies Fanny.

The reform, which aims to diversify the profile of health professionals, in fact provided for reserving 30% of second-year places for students of Las.The reality, however, turns out to be a little different. In Nancy, out of 450 places in the second year of medicine, there are only 18 students from Las. “We did not want to sell off access to the second year and let candidates pass who would then have been in difficulty in our very demanding course”, justifies Professor Mathias Poussel, director of the Pass department at the Faculty of Medicine.

His department has set the bar high. “To pass the entrance exams to the second year, the Las had to have validated the L1 of their license without catching up and be in the first quartile of their promotion”, explains Professor Poussel. The students also took part of the Visio Pass courses, passed the same final exams, then an oral. Results : “We did not have enough good candidates”, explains Professor Poussel, whose university has obtained an exemption to accommodate fewer people.

→ EXPLANATION. The difficult implementation of the reform of health studies

“Only a third of those enrolled in Las passed the tests to join a health sector in the second year”, confirms Lise Toschi, head of education. Why so little? “Some were frightened when they saw the first part of the health lessons arrive, ten hours of video at once, working alone, explains Marine. Others failed to pass their first year. ” Enrolled in Las physics-chemistry for lack of being accepted in the 100% health course, the student finally says that she appreciated this course. Like Fanny, who points out the advantages of a small cohort. “We were 18 in biology, all with an S bac with honors. There was a real emulation. “

Adapted second year courses

Both then followed the “summer school” offered by a student association. Marine also benefits from the support of a third-year “godmother” who helps her with the methodology. Finally, the second year courses have been adapted to take into account their reduced baggage. “Starting each module with a reminder of elements seen in the first year is nothing problematic, considers Professor Poussel. Education is an art of repetition! “

To measure integration and success, we will have to wait for the results of the exams in February. And see if next year, their share can increase. Objective of the reform, contested by many universities: 50% of students from Las in the second year, in 2023.

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