How young is “too young”?
There is currently a dispute going on in France about a young lad, age 14, from Cameroon who is already in his first year of medical school because he is very bright – surdoué. His father is on the verge of being thrown out of France and of course the boy would have to leave too. Now, leaving his immigrant status aside, I consider that it is absolutely ludicrous for someone of that age to have started a medical degree in any country. He will be with students at least four years older than he is, who will necessarily have more experience of life and dealing with other human beings. However bright he is, he will be lacking in savoir vivre. I know that British medical schools stopped accepting very bright students without an interview some years ago, having discovered that great intelligence did not necessarily produce well-rounded human beings who could empathise with patients. I have no idea whether French medical schools also insist on an interview for would-be medics. Many older patients are convinced that young doctors are “too young” anyway. Imagine their feelings if a teenager turned up at their bedside. And a teenager is what this lad is going to be for the next six years.