A 2017 report by the General Medical Council found that
- The supply of new doctors into the UK medical workforce has not kept pace with changes in demand
- The strain on doctors training and being trained continues
This policy suggests that the reform of medical education should be far-reaching, encouraging cooperation between universities and local health systems to develop the most appropriate curriculum and assessment to prepare students for medical practice. We are looking for steps towards this kind of reform when evaluating this policy.
So far, when it comes to reforming medical education, this government has announced that it is increasing the number of student places at medical schools by 1,500, aimed especially at regions that struggle to attract trainee medics, and at disadvantaged socio-economic groups.
Given that the increase is based on local need, this is an example of cooperation with local health systems. However, the cooperation doesn’t extend to the content of teaching and training, nor the method of assessment, so it only partially fulfils the policy promise as we interpret it.
We are marking this as ‘in progress’. Reform of medical education has begun, but is not as far-reaching as the manifesto pledge implies. If we also see reform of curricula and assessment processes based on cooperation between universities and local health systems, we will move this to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.
- The state of medical education and practice in the UK – General Medical Council
- 1,500 extra medical undergraduate places confirmed – Gov.uk
- Consultation on the expansion of medical undergraduate education – Gov.uk
- Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View – NHS England