More doctors to be trained in Leicester than ever before

More much-needed doctors are to be trained at the University of Leicester following the Government’s announcement of the biggest ever expansion of undergraduate medical training.

Leicester has been allocated a total of 49 extra places –which will bring the total number of medical undergraduate places at Leicester to 290. In total, more than 1,400 medical students will be taught at Leicester over five years.

In October 2016, the Government announced its commitment to expanding undergraduate medical training by 1,500 places, with effect from September 2018 onward.  500 of these additional places were allocated to existing medical schools in 2017, for entry in 2018-19.

Leicester was allocated 19 places in this allocation for September 2018 entry.

Today the Government announced details of a further 1,000 medical training places on top of the 500 announced in late 2017. Leicester has been allocated a further 30 places for 2019 entry.

Professor Richard Holland, Head of the Leicester Medical School, said: “The scheme was heavily oversubscribed – with twice the number of requests for the available places.  That we were awarded all of the training places we asked for reflects the high quality of the training in Leicester (with our new, patient focussed curriculum), our commitment to widening participation (ensuring that we get students from a wide spectrum of schools) and to a much needed emphasis of delivering more doctors for general practice and for psychiatry.  There is no better place to study medicine.”

Together this increase of 1,500 places represents the largest ever expansion of medical training, adding a quarter more training places to the previous total of around 6,000.

As part of the expansion, a number of new medical schools are being created.

The expansion opens the door for many more students to gain high-quality medical education and training and enter the medical profession. Medical courses are currently heavily oversubscribed and this will open up new opportunities for many aspiring doctors and medical professionals.

The expansion provides extra places to help in areas that have difficulty recruiting doctors and widens participation in medical training, training doctors that are more representative of the communities they serve, in a way that reflects the needs of the local population where most relevant.

At Leicester’s Medical School, which is part of the College of Life Sciences, patients are  at the heart of students’ learning as a result of our newly updated curriculum.  This increases the opportunities for patient experience throughout our course, and uses a range of modern approaches to enhance our students’ clinical learning, including use of advanced simulation, live-streaming of patient consultations into lecture theatres; and our group learning spaces where expert patients are invited to interact with students about their experiences.

This new curriculum enables teachers to place much more emphasis on the impact of a disease on patients and their families, inviting patients to give first-hand accounts of their experiences, generating doctors who think about the patient first and not just the pathology of the disease.

The George Davies Centre opened in 2017 and houses Leicester Medical School.  It represents the biggest investment in medical education and applied research in the UK for a decade and a building that is built to such meticulous energy conservation standards that its been designated as the biggest Passivhaus building in the UK.