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'Record number' of medical students training in Bucks

'Record number' of medical students training in Bucks

Published by Dan Gooding at 7:55am 23rd February 2020.

130 more new doctors are being trained here in Buckinghamshire.

The University of Buckingham say they've welcomed a record number of medical students in 2020.

They're trying to help bring up the number of doctors in the UK, which has the second-lowest number in top European countries.

The school has also announced Dr Joanne Harris as the newly appointed Dean and Director of Medical Education.

Speaking about the developments Dr Joanne Harris said:

"I am thrilled to be working at the University of Buckingham Medical School at such an exciting time in its evolution.

"Last year, our first cohort of medical students graduated as doctors working in the NHS and we received full accreditation from the General Medical Council (GMC).

"I am working with an excellent team at Buckingham to produce skilled and compassionate doctors, capable of facing existing and emerging challenges in the health service."

The UK has the second lowest number of doctors in Leading European nations with 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with an average of 3.5 doctors across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Students get hands-on training at Buckinghamshire's hospitals

An investigation by The Times recently highlighted that the GP shortage has even left some surgeries with one permanent doctor caring for as many as 11,000 patients.

Although medical education is her main focus, Dr Harris still practises as a GP in West London one day a week and believes in changing the attitudes around what it means to be a GP.

She comments:

"It's vital that we nurture a generalist approach to medicine. GPs are the first port of call for many of us with medical issues and are a crucial part of our healthcare system.

"Going straight to a specialist for any ailment wouldn't be effective for the patient or the NHS. Even hospital specialists need to adopt a more generalist approach to lead to more efficient and cost-effective healthcare.

"That's why we encourage our students to adopt a broad approach throughout their degree whatever specialty they choose to follow in the future We want them to leave with the abilities and skills needed to solve complex medical issues and help reduce the stress on patients by making an earlier diagnosis.' 

A key feature of the programme at Buckingham is extensive early patient contact which takes place within the first six weeks. Consultant and GP-led teaching is embedded in the school, with students taking their clinical placements at Milton Keynes University Hospital, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust at Stoke Mandeville. 

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