Medical exam committee sticks to its guns in Jaap Pesman case

The medical faculty’s exam committee is sticking to the two extra internships that were imposed on student Jaap Pesman.

This week, they told the Board of Appeal for Examinations (CBE) that the verdict was ‘in line with the master programme’s regulations’.

The Council of State had referred the case back to the university after Pesman successfully mounted an appeal. The hearing took place last Thursday.

The examiner had been told to provide better reasons for why she was forcing the student to do two extra internships after he’d received an NYOT (‘not yet on track’, or a failing grade) after doing an internship at her department. After that, the CBE was tasked with reassessing the verdict.

Pandemic

The Dentistry & Medicine exam committee (ECTG) had decided that, during the Covid pandemic, medical students only had to do eight internships in their second year instead of ten. But non-nominal students would have to do all ten internships.

Besides, the exam committee said, the assessment was ‘in line with the feedback from other assessments’. While those assessments were OT (‘on track’, meaning Pesman passed the internships), they often included little remarks, such as ‘focus on the horses before you start looking for zebra’s’. In other words: he first needed to learn to recognise the more obvious symptoms before looking for other, less obvious ones. 

Pesman disputes this. He not only knows of cases where the rules about ten internships were ignored, but he hardly received any negative feedback. ‘Those remarks about horses and zebras aren’t from my file’, he said during the hearing. ‘Just like last time, the ECTG is mistaking me for another student.’

Without issue

The committee asked the exam committee what will happen to the verdict from two years ago. After all, Pesman continued his studies and finished all his internships without issue. 

But according to the exam committee chair, this doesn’t change much. ‘Two years ago, the examiner responded to the situation at the time. That the student in fact improved can only be seen as a good thing.’

The CBE has decided to stay the case for a little bit to figure out the factual inaccuracies. However, the Council of State has decreed that they need to reach a verdict by October 11.

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