Rejecting political correctness
Karol Sikora, dean elect of Britain's first private medical school, thinks the school will widen access to education. Others beg to differ. Deborah Cohen and Kristina Fister report
Known for his outspoken views on NHS reform and private medicine, Karol Sikora, professor of cancer medicine and honorary consultant oncologist at Imperial College London's School of Medicine, is now grappling with medical education.
After being approached by Buckingham University's vice chancellor, Terence Kealey, himself a doctor, Professor Sikora was appointed dean elect of Britain's first private medical school at Buckingham University, the only UK university not directly funded by the government. He finds the challenge of implementing a new medical course appealing.
“There's going to be a shortage of doctors in 20 years' time, and according to the Wanless report it will be about 25'000 [see BMJ 2002;324:998]. Although medical school entry has doubled over the last 10 years, it's still too small,” he said. “The trouble is that they [existing educational initiatives] all use the same system of education. We want to get away from this dreadful political