Medical school wins GMC approval ahead of first graduations

Jun 03, 2019

THE FIRST not-for-profit independent medical school in the UK has received accreditation from the General Medical Council and will graduate its first cohort of students at the end of this month.

With NHS doctor shortages across the country, 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 by more than 25% and are on track to exceed 1,000.

The
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery programme has been taught at Buckingham since
2015. It specialises in early contact with patients and stems from  a well-established curriculum, with consultant
and GP-led teaching. A unique feature 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 £200,000.

Professor Karol Sikora, dean of the Medical School, 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.”

The Medical School partnered with Milton Keynes Hospital to form
Milton Keynes University Hospital, where many students are based for the third
year onwards. At the end of their course graduates start work in trusts around
the UK in the National Health Service, including local options such as Milton
Keynes University Hospital, Warwick and Stoke Mandeville.

Many of the graduates have chosen to stay locally and work in the
regional trusts as junior doctors.

The influx of doctors into the local
area helps to strengthen the local economy with accommodation and living
expenses. Students at Milton Keynes University Hospital have benefited from
state of the art teaching resources at the newly built Milton Keynes Academic
centre.

Final year students 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 GMC 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 programme including teaching
and assessment.”

The
University of Buckingham, which has led the National Student Survey for several
years, is one of the smallest in the UK, with only 2,000 students on campus. The
Medical School, which also undertakes medical education research, welcomes
around 50% UK and 50% international students.

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