April 2019

Think UK medical students are unruly? Check out the sexual scenes in France

Despite being the training grounds of one of the most trusted professions, medical schools have quite an unsavoury reputation. Rumours abound of archaic hazing rituals and alcohol-fuelled nights out to “release stress”, ranging from the once-famous Princeton Nude Olympics to the recent much-publicised antics of my own fellow doctors-to-be. Thankfully, UK medical schools have been largely purged of such humiliating rituals and where they do exist, they are mainly mild and viewed as curious remnants from a different age. (Although we were once made to attend a “naked pub crawl” which was apparently once underwear-only, but these days large lab coats are allowed. It was, however, December. Amazingly enough, none of us made 9am lectures the next day.)

But right across the Channel we have France, which in many ways is a different planet. Much like in England, hospitals in France have rooms (salles des garde) for medical students to …

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