Grad Medicine to become 5 year course

Move to lengthen fast track program and streamline graduate and undergrad courses

Imperial has announced that the Medical School’s four year graduate entry program is to be replaced by a five year one from 2015 onwards.

The move comes after a review of the course in 2012 and will see the one year pre-clinical program padded out to two years with a clinical research project thrown in for kicks.

Who wouldn't want to spend an extra year here?

Who wouldn’t want to spend an extra year here?

But, it is unclear if the current financial arrangements will continue to be in place; currently Student Finance England supports students on the four year program but there’s no confirmation they’d do so for a five year one and as it stands if you study for a five year medicine program as a graduate you’re only eligible for support in your final year, which could prove a significant barrier for anyone looking to enter the program.

“A key aim in setting up the College’s graduate-entry medicine programme was to develop clinicians with a strong grounding in research skills and academic medicine,” a College Spokesperson stated. “The Greenaway Shape of Training report (2013) recommends full registration be conferred at the point of graduation.  Should this be adopted, the four-year programme would not provide sufficient training hours during the primary medical qualification to meet current EU requirements.”

“Students were very upset to hear about the changes. We started writing an open letter to the College, but were told at a meeting with Martin Lupton, the head of Undergraduate Medicine, that the decision to change the 4-year program had already be made, and would not be changed,” Sophie Williams, a first year on the program told Felix. 

It is unclear if the program will result in it becoming less attractive to prospective students or its impact on teaching but also comes at a time when Cambridge is to stop sending its medics to London for their clinical training and St George’s is to half the number of places on its Graduate Entry Program.