Graduate Entry 2017 and beyond with new government Watch

adamphilpot
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Hi guys,

I'm looking at graduate entry for either 2016 or 2017.

Just wondering if anyone out there was in the know or had heard about any possible changes that might come about to graduate entry medicine since the elections in May.

One of the key conservative policies is to introduce a load more GPs so i'd be surprised if they were to cut the funding or the programs but you never know...

A lot of the university and also student finance websites don't seem to shed any light on funding and options past 2016.

cheers
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Democracy
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(Original post by adamphilpot)
One of the key conservative policies is to introduce a load more GPs so i'd be surprised if they were to cut the funding or the programs but you never know...
It's more of a media sound bite than an actual policy. The problem isn't that we don't have enough medical students; several new medical schools were opened in the early 2000s precisely to make sure med student numbers would meet projected needs. The problem is that not enough med students are choosing to go into general practice once they become junior doctors.

And that problem will not be solved simply by recruiting more med students. The problem is that the government has made GP a rather unappealing specialty, and they're not showing any signs of changing that either.

What all of this means for graduate entry medicine - hard to say really. There was similar confusion in 2011 over future GEM funding before the fees were due to go up - a campaign was started on Facebook, a website launched, MPs hassled and eventually funding was put in place til 2015. Perhaps it's time for a few determined individuals to do the same thing again? I certainly wouldn't wait for the student finance people to wake up from their collective comas and cotton on to the fact that there's a funding problem for future cohorts.
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ProspectiveGEM
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(Original post by Democracy)
Perhaps it's time for a few determined individuals to do the same thing again? I certainly wouldn't wait for the student finance people to wake up from their collective comas and cotton on to the fact that there's a funding problem for future cohorts.
Not only this, but the GMC have to be pressured to maintain the four year courses in the face of their desire to remove registration at F1 and make medicine registration awarded upon graduation - this would violate the EU rule that states medical education must last five years (GEM + F1 = 5 years). It's unclear if they will press ahead with this, but if they do then it could spell the end of 4yr GEM - there's a few ideas out there like trying to persuade the EU that the first degree counts towards the five years - this would obviously exclude graduates from all degress aside from biology/biomed related courses.

So we have 2 big worries - no. 1 the continuation of funding from a gov that is committed to austerity and a smaller state (hopefully their claims that they are looking to provide financing to those who are taking postgraduate courses rub off onto GEM) and secondly the threat of medical training reorganisation on the existence of a 4 year degree.

One of the key conservative policies is to introduce a load more GPs so i'd be surprised if they were to cut the funding or the programs but you never know...
Aside from not particularly being inclined to believe the conservative manifesto I don't think this will have a consequence on GEM - politics is short term and if they are serious about increasing GP numbers in the terms of this parliament they are more likely to focus on recruiting foreign doctors or persuading junior doctors to enter the profession (golden hellos or something).
A lot of the university and also student finance websites don't seem to shed any light on funding and options past 2016.
Yeah this is because it is subject to continual review, we have no idea what funding will be available. One would hope that we are at least provided with a loan to study whatever medicine course exists in the future as a graduate.
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adamphilpot
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So all in all its all a bit up in the air at the moment then. Do you think that if they do move registration back to graduation instead of F1, that 5 year GEMs would exist or incorporate graduate entry into the standard 5 year courses?

Advice for me I guess is to plod on as normal and just see what happens then? Somewhat disconcerting to commit and put all the work in only for it to not be available at the end of it.
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Brachioradialis
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(Original post by adamphilpot)
So all in all its all a bit up in the air at the moment then. Do you think that if they do move registration back to graduation instead of F1, that 5 year GEMs would exist or incorporate graduate entry into the standard 5 year courses?

Advice for me I guess is to plod on as normal and just see what happens then? Somewhat disconcerting to commit and put all the work in only for it to not be available at the end of it.
A five year GEM course already exists at Imperial, and I imagine they changed it from a 4-year for precisely that reason. It's possible more schools would convert to 5 year -- I can't see schools like Warwick which are entirely based around graduates simply disappearing and closing down their medical schools. It would make more sense to extend to a 5th year (privately funded or not) and have that as a transition year to FY1 or something.

It's the funding issue which is entirely up in the air. If you go to a 5 year GEM system, will the government/SLC still fund 4 years out of the 5? Or will they extend to 5? (unlikely) Or will they remove funding entirely?

We simply don't know. The future will hinge upon which of those last three scenarios becomes true. If it's extended or maintained to 4 years of tuition funding, I can see a future for 5 year GEM. People could save to pay for the final year before starting -- it just pushes back the likely age people could start the course without having rich backing.

If they remove the funding entirely then it's a gonner.
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adamphilpot
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5 Year GEM doesn't seem like the worst idea. Although it will as you say put limits on the people that can afford to do it. Not really a widening access option anymore.

I imagine something will happen soon though as surely finances for 2016 entry need to be sorted out soon with the deadline not really that long away.
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Brachioradialis
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I imagine 2016 will be be okay. They've left it pretty late to announce strange changes. I think 2017 and beyond is more of a risk.
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