SOME of Hong Kong's brightest young doctors may be excluded from a proposed specialist register, while those who take longer to make the grade are touted as being among the best in their field. Under the Academy of Medicine's admission criteria, doctors need six years of supervised training to be awarded a fellowship which then means they will soon be registered by the Medical Council as a specialist. But those doctors who passed their qualifying exams after only two years or less claim they are being penalised because they have less supervised training. One surgeon, who did not want to be named, said: 'It is outrageous that the really bright doctors who managed to pass their exams early are being made to pay for this. 'The academy has got the admission criteria seriously wrong and something must be done to give those doctors fellowships who deserve them.' A 37-year-old physician who passed her higher qualification after only 18 months and has been denied a fellowship claimed that her requests for information had been ignored by the academy. 'The system of admission is ridiculous and very unfair because those who should be getting in are being refused and those who have less right to a fellowship are getting one,' she said. 'I am now expected to go back and do more training in a government hospital where I will probably be supervised by somebody more junior than myself.' Under the amended Medical Registration Ordinance (MRO) which goes before the Legislative Council during the current session, the Medical Council is likely to automatically register academy fellows as specialists, although non-fellows may also be eligible. But doctors who have been denied fellowships say they are also being refused remedial training to allow them into the academy and on to the specialist register when the MRO is amended. Some of the academy's colleges have laid down strict requirements for one-off remedial training courses, including a stipulation of between three and four years of supervised training before passing qualifying exams. The physician added: 'The academy should have let everyone in with the higher qualification and then looked at the grandfathers who don't have enough training to see if they should be admitted.' Almost all of the academy's 2,000 or so foundation fellows were admitted through the controversial 'grandfather' clause which equates three years in private practice with one year of training. Some groups of doctors are now taking legal action against the academy because they believe its bylaws contravene its ordinance in use of the 'grandfather' clause. But academy president Professor David Todd said the cases of some doctors who had been refused admission - as well as the issue of remedial training - would be looked at again. 'We have received a number of letters of complaint, some of which are probably valid, and I think we will have to look at individual cases from now on.' Dr Leong Che-hung, a vice-president of the academy and a Legislative Councillor representing the medical profession, said he would be willing to investigate doctors' claims of being short-changed by the academy. 'If a doctor deserves a fellowship we will find a way of getting them in,' he said.