Alongside their commitment to education, a core part of medical schools’ work is research. The development of new treatments, as well as improvement to current ones, is essential for meeting the population’s changing health needs. As seats of learning, universities are home to some of the best researchers and most innovative studies. They also have the strong links with the National Health Service which can allow these innovations to benefit patients.
Medical research can take many forms, from laboratory-based work on diseases to improvement in practice around public and mental health. It also has a huge impact on the economy: the UK life sciences sector generates over £50 billion in turnover, and much of this is connected to research undertaken in universities, particularly in medical schools.
At the national level, the Medical Schools Council is a means for medical schools to address demands for certain types of research and to have a unified voice in communicating with Government and research funders.