Click here to go to the main StudentGems site

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Medicine, an occupation only for the elite?

Doctors are concerned that careers in medicine will soon only be a possibility for students from wealthy backgrounds. Students embarking on their medical studies face approximately £40,000 debt upon graduation. A Southampton medical student estimates that it will take her 20 years to pay off her loan according to a BBC article and is not looking forward to the prospect. This could be made considerably worse if the government decides to remove the current cap on tuition fees, later this summer. Whilst the government says that support is available for people from the poorest backgrounds that still leaves a huge proportion of the population at a disadvantage.

In addition, due to the intensity of their studies medical students have less opportunities to work to support themselves. They have to rely on parental or grant support during their studies.

The UK could be denied some great potential doctors simply because they cannot afford to complete their studies. This would be a calamity and should not be allowed to happen.

The government needs to come up with a system which will enable all students equal opportunity to access university education and sufficiently fund the institutions. The NUS Blueprint definitely offers a viable alternative, as long as a funding system for Universities can be found in the interim.