Medical education in the UK is world-renowned and the standard of graduates from UK medical schools is very high.
What makes UK medical education so unique is the individuality of the medical schools. While they all work towards meeting a common standard, which is set by the regulator, no two medical degrees are the same. This variation can be in areas such as course structure, the types of placements offered and teaching styles used. In these ways each medical school is able to build its own set of values into its training, and contribute graduates to a medical workforce which can provide the many services required by the National Health Service.
The Medical Schools Council provides a national voice on issues which affect medical education, helping the individual medical schools make their experience a part of that voice. It is this balance of collaboration and independence which ensures the continued high quality of medical education in the UK.
Each medical school has staff who specialise in education. It is they who manage the curricula and make sure that graduates are able to meet the needs of their future roles as doctors. The heads of medical education from member medical schools work together as the Education Leads.
Areas of work include:
- Curriculum mapping
- Criteria for reasonable adjustments
- The introduction of the Medical Licensing Assessment
- Making clear the value and benefits of a career in certain areas, such as general practice, according to workforce needs
Education Leads meets three times a year and is led by the chair of the Medical Schools Council Education Sub-Committee, which is Professor Malcolm Reed, Dean of Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Education Leads Advisory Group
The Medical Schools Council receives frequent requests from stakeholders to distribute surveys, questionnaires and curricula updates to medical schools and medical students. Concern has been raised that frequent requests for medical student participation in surveys that do not enhance their education could lead to fatigue. This led to the creation of the Education Leads Advisory Group which gathers experts in medical education, curricula design and implementation to work with stakeholders to reduce the volume of requests received to participate in surveys.
The Advisory group is accountable to the Education Leads group and meets twice per year. The group works with stakeholders such as the Royal Colleges who would like to implement changes in curricula to understand the current practices, and shape these changes so that they are necessary, practical, and achievable. They also work with the General Medical Council on developments in medical education and curricula that may need to be reflected in Outcomes for Graduates.
All enquiries to the Education Leads Advisory Group should be directed to admin[at]medschools.ac.uk. Please provide as much information as possible about the survey and the ethics approval it has received.
The Medical Schools Council offers several online learning resources to UK medical schools as part of their membership. These are:
You can learn more about these resources by clicking on the links to their pages.
Education for sustainable Healthcare
The Medical Schools Council hosted a special conference for all UK medical schools in October 2021 on Education for Sustainable Healthcare and Planetary Health. Authored by SanYuMay Tun and Theresa Martin, the MSC Education Leads Advisory Group reviewed and endorsed the curriculum in April 2022.