It does not.
But it attempts to and everyone appears to assume that it does. This disempowerment has to stop.
Tying medical students into five years of contracts once they start work might seem a good idea but when the armed forces do this - they pay for the student training or offer tempting grants. So yes - by all means say that "if we pay everything for your training then you need to remain for x years". That sounds like a fair deal.
But to say that you pay for your training - you get the loan - you pay for the privilege of studying medicine, you pay for all the postgrad exams ( and often the courses) but ..... we then insist that you stay - is somehow wrong and will I believe backfire like has never been seen before in medical recruitment terms. It is an under sea tectonic plate just waiting to sublux.
Will that reverse the trend and make medicine an attractive career option again?
Err that'll be a NO then!
Conversely - make medicine ( as a purely vocational degree that has shortages of applicants and shortages of doctors) a grant supported degree with no fees.. and the numbers of applicants will increase and so will the quality and bredth of candidate applying.
I won't even go into selections procedures for how to get the right sort of doctors who don't WANT to leave and what sort of career planning support should be given at medical school - I could write BOOKS on the topic. But 27 years working with doctors whose careers have in some way or other become stuck or drifting or on a plateau etc - probably makes me uniquely qualified to advise on what modifications to make to the curriculum and selection.
But of course - the medical schools, GMC, BMA and the government know best (?)
I should mention that I have been ever so slightly on the subversive side since childhood and just adore questioning the status quo - but they do say that it is people on the outer edge of the envelope who influence the tipping of the spinning plate - not the sheep huddled in the middle. I rest my case.