The country’s first not-for-profit independent medical school, at The University of Buckingham, has received GMC accreditation and will graduate its first cohort of students on 29 June.
With NHS doctor shortages across the UK, The University of Buckingham’s Medical School is the first new medical school in the UK since the 1940s and is set to graduate around 100 new doctors each year. Applications for the January 2020 intake are up more than 25 per cent and are on track to exceed 1000.
The General Medical Council commended the University for the ‘excellent professional, academic and pastoral support that extends throughout the university and clinical learning environments’ and ‘the robust systems that ensure the quality of all aspects of the MB ChB program including teaching and assessment’.
Operating since 2015, the University’s MB ChB program specializes in early contact with patients (during the first six weeks). It is derived from a well-established curriculum, with consultant and GP-led teaching, where the emphasis is on bedside manner and placing the patient first. It specializes in integrating clinical and academic expertise to develop the medical knowledge and professional competencies that are essential to become an effective practitioner.
One of the unique features of the Medical School is that students are self-funding: in all other medical schools in the UK, each medical student trained in the public sector ultimately costs taxpayers more than £200k.
The University of Buckingham, which has led the National Student Survey for several years, is distinct in offering small-group teaching and a supportive campus environment. With only around 2000 students on campus in total, the University is one of the smallest in the UK.
Dean of the Medical School, Professor Karol Sikora said:
We are absolutely delighted to receive final approval from the GMC. It has been a long and exciting journey. We have blazed a trail and produced a top quality Medical School that has proved very popular with our students.”
Final year student Matthew Beck said:
We are thrilled that the institution which we have trusted to support and guide us into the medical profession has obtained GMC accreditation. Ever since day one, our experience has been outstanding and the accreditation supports our views that things have been done right at Buckingham.”
The Medical School, which also undertakes medical education research, welcomes around 50 per cent UK and 50 per cent international students. Students have enrolled from around the country and the globe, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia.
In partnership with Milton Keynes University Hospital, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, St Andrews Healthcare, Buckingham Healthcare, the Railings and a number of General Practices within the region, the Medical School is able to provide a diverse range of high quality clinical experiences right from the very beginning of this patient centered course.
From June this year, when the first cohort of Medical School students graduate, Buckingham graduates will start to work in trusts around the UK, expanding the medical workforces in the NHS at no cost to the state for their training.