Stories of junior doctors working to the point of collapse because of long hours are a familiar problem here and around the world. But there can be few other places where hospitals use medical students so often to carry out routine tasks more usually allocated to office juniors or medical technicians. The long hours newly qualified doctors have to endure are sometimes considered an early test of stamina. But there can be no acceptable explanation for treating medical trainees as messengers. Their time on the wards is intended to provide the professional experience they need as part of their training. That time is absolutely wasted otherwise. It can mean graduates are posted to hospitals with no clear idea of how the system works, or what is expected of them when their official preparation is over. That is grossly unfair to everyone. Students must learn, even if teaching encroaches on the routine of busy staff. But if staff shortage is the reason trainees are ignored or treated this way, blacklisting the offending hospitals may not be the answer. That would relieve them of an inconvenience, and transfer the burden to other hospitals where medical staff feel a greater sense of responsibility towards younger colleagues. Transferring more students to fewer hospitals could add to the second problem the Chinese University has identified. Lack of supervision for trainees is more alarming because it exposes patients to risk. The situation points to an underlying problem that the Hospital Authority needs to investigate. Manpower problems may be the cause, but the Internship Committee correctly points out that when senior doctors have a commitment to medical education, these problems do not arise.