Recruiting the best doctors: fairly?
Attempts have been made to attract candidates from under-represented groups into medicine, and such efforts have made a difference
- By: Nicholas Deakin
Medical schools today are no longer full of middle class men educated at independent schools who just happen to be children of the local general practitioner. The student body is less homogenous, but it still doesn’t mean that those training to be doctors reflect the society that they will serve.
This poses several questions: what kinds of people are at medical school now; should we aim for a broad intake to medical school; and what schemes exist to widen access? For Stephen Thompson, codirector of the extended medical degree programme at King’s College London, the answer is simple: “Increasing the diversity of doctors will not only enrich the profession with people who understand distinct communities, but will also change the lives of the individuals and their families forever.”
The Higher Education Funding Council for England defines widening access as schemes or practices that challenge “the large discrepancies in the take-up