Edward Jenner

Medics who changed history wouldn’t get into modern medical schools

Edward Jenner performing his first vaccination against smallpox

DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini

Many of the people behind the most significant medical discoveries of the past 300 years wouldn’t have got into medical school by today’s standards, because they either studied the “wrong” subjects, got low grades or didn’t follow the rules.

The finding highlights how the education system wrongly favours academic achievement over other important traits, like persistence and creativity, says David Jenkins at the University of Toronto, Canada. “We have to be much more flexible in how we accept young people into medical school or any other …