Expansion of undergraduate medical education

Government outlines plans for expanding medical training | Department of Health | OnMedcia

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The Department of Health has published details of its plans to expand the number of undergraduate training places in England, which include expecting newly trained doctors to work for the NHS for more than five years.

The plans, revealed in a consultation document, aim to increase the home-grown medical workforce by 25%. Currently more than 6,000 university training places are available each year for prospective new doctors, but the plan is to increase this number by up to an extra 1,500 each year from September 2018.

It costs £230,000 to train a doctor in England, and the proposals include plans to obtain a return on this investment, by expecting new doctors to work for the NHS for a minimum number of years, otherwise they will be expected to repay some of their training costs.

A similar system “return of service” programme is already used by the armed forces for certain professions. The consultation asks whether a similar system should be introduced to the NHS for doctor training courses and, if so, how long this minimum term of service should be, suggesting that anything from two to more than five might be expected.

Full document: Expansion of undergraduate medical education: a consultation on how to maximise the benefits from the increases in medical student numbers.

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