Training in Australia's medical schools have become so inadequate that students are becoming increasingly unable to locate important body parts even confusing certain vital organs with each other.
Senior doctors including pathologists, anaesthetists and obstetricians have raised concerns that medical students are not being properly trained.
The doctors claim that the students are not properly trained in anatomy. According to them teaching hours for anatomy have been slashed by 80 per cent in certain medical schools to make way for new subjects such as 'cultural sensitivity', communication and ethics. The time devoted to other basic sciences - including biochemistry, physiology and pathology - has also been reduced.
The New South Wales Health Minister, John Hatzistergos, says 'What the colleges are saying is that the standard of education for medical students going through universities is not as rigorous as it should be,'.
'We have consistently criticised the Commonwealth over the cutbacks in health education manifested not only in a reduction in places for students but clearly through dilution of the content of courses.'
A coalition of senior doctors have appealed to the federal Government to undertake a review of the education in medical colleges claiming that public safety was at stake and that what was urgently needed were national benchmarks for teaching the basic medical sciences.
The Australian Doctors Fund lodged a 70-page submission with the federal Department of Education, Science and Training this week, listing arguments from more than two dozen professors, consultants and medical academics for a rethink on medical education.