The student, who goes by @TheGradMedic on Twitter, was wearing a navy blue checked dress for the exam, a photograph of which was shared by her friend, who tweeted:
“A friend did their OSCE’s with me recently & got yellow carded for wearing a ‘short skirt’… could someone explain to me how it’s 2021 and medical schools are still pushing sexist notions of primness upon its female student cohort, for daring to display their ankles?”
In response, @TheGradMedic explained that she had complained to the university.
“Their response was ‘it was the most inappropriate dress they had ever seen’ and then stated that the examiners word is final and the investigation is closed isn’t discrimination lovely?” she wrote.
The tweets have since gone viral, with thousands of people criticising the university.
“Shame on them,” replied bestselling author, and former NHS doctor, Adam Kay. “And should you want to pursue it further, it very much isn’t closed.”
“I can’t get my head around this,” tweeted one person. “This dress in the photo? The one that looks very appropriate and sober? What did they actually want you to wear?!?!?”
Now, Newcastle University has issued an apology on Twitter, explaining that the comment was made by a “role-play patient as part of an exam”.
“We want to apologise once again to @thegradmedic for any offence or distress caused by this incident,” the institution tweeted.
“All comments made by patients in exams are passed on to students as feedback.
“However, we agree it should not have resulted in a yellow card from the examiner. This is why, when the concerns were raised with us by @thegradmedic earlier this year, they were investigated and the yellow card was rescinded.
“We would not want any student to come away from these exams feeling remarks like this in any way reflect the values of the University and the issues will be addressed in future examination briefings.”
The Independent has contacted Newcastle University for further comment.