University course launches new medical course to improve diversity

leicester-logo.gifA new university course has been announced to make a career in medicine more accessible. 

The University of Leicester has teamed up with a local charitable trust to launch the programme after discovering figures in a recent report. 

The Class Pay Gap report found that almost three-quarters of doctors come from privileged backgrounds while less than six per cent come from working-class backgrounds. 

Dr Daniela Rudloff, a lecturer from the University of Leicester School of Business, Work and Employment Division, said: “The report states that 73 per cent of doctors are from privileged backgrounds while less than six per cent come from working-class backgrounds. 

“The report collected data from 2013 to 2015; long before Hunt started imposing the new contracts on junior doctors. If already only six per cent of the doctors come from working-class contracts, what will even lower pay and even worse working conditions do to social mobility? How long until becoming a doctor becomes a privilege of the few who can afford what little pay the job brings?”

In a bid to reverse the figures and increase access to medical professions from the less-privileged, the University of Leicester decided to launch a new Foundation Year course for its medical degree programme. 

Committed to providing fairer and more equal access to education, the university is now recruiting students residing in the East Midlands for the programme, who will be able to get scholarship support by the university ad local charitable trust, who have contributed £2 million towards the cost of the course. 

Despite being encouraged by the Medical Council, very few medical schools in the UK offer a medical foundation year with widening participation at its heart. 

Current figures show that 80 per cent of all medical students in the UK come from just 20 per cent of schools, and of the 11, 125 students who entered medicine and dentistry in 2011,  just 4.1 per cent were from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. 

In particular, addressing the lack of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds entering the medical profession is a key national priority. 

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