Social Mobility APPG Access into Leading Professions Inquiry
Session Two: Access into Medicine
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 from 15:00 to 17:00
Committee Room 11, House of Commons
Panel 1 – Access into Medical School
Panel 2 – Progress through the medical profession
Parliamentarians in attendance
The issue of access into medicine emerged as one of particular interest following the publication of the Sutton Trust’s report Leading People 2016, with its findings around medicine leading the front page of The Times. Looking at working-age professionals with fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, listed in the directory Who’s Who, the Sutton Trust found that nearly two thirds (61%) attended independent schools, 22% were educated at grammar schools and 16% attended comprehensives.
This session investigated why one of the most prestigious and respected state funded professions (at least predominantly) is recruiting such a disproportionate number of people educated in the independent sector. It was an absorbing session, discussing the fascinating initiatives that being adopted to widen access into medical careers as well as digging deeper into the challenges that persons from disadvantaged backgrounds face to get in. The session also exposed the next phase of the widening access issue – professional development, which might be even more complicated to tackle.
Crucially, what we identified in this session that was very telling for our wider inquiry was that similar solutions to widening access were proposed for medicine as they had been in the fields of law, accountancy and finance:
The other issue that came up frequently was that the recording of the high UCAS entry points tariff for medical school on university league tables is driving up entry requirements and creating a huge barrier to access, although there was recognition that league tables are difficult to control because there’s no central arbiter.
A full summary may be found by clicking the PDF on the right sidebar, along with data from the Medical Schools Council underlying the widening participation challenges that medicine faces.