Aptitude tests could become part of a change to the selection process for young people to become doctors.

Educational reforms and a new application system may mean students will no longer need to score top Leaving Certificate results to gain entry to the country's medical schools.

It's never been harder to become a doctor.

With around 2,400 college applicants putting medicine as their first choice, the pressure is on for the 375 available places. The high demand for places, which is further increased by the number of overseas applicants, means that only the very top students are in the running.

Students here can forget about medicine unless they’re among the top couple of hundred who achieve the perfect Leaving Cert or close to it.

Measures are now being investigated to address the gap. The number of medical student places has been increased and by 2008, it is hoped that the pressure for places will be eased with the introduction of aptitude or suitability tests as part of the selection process. Students with 450 points could be considered for medicine.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 August 2006. The reporter is Emma O’Kelly.