Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Debt May Force out Medics of the Future; Fear Profession Will Suffer as Low-Income Students Go Elsewhere

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Debt May Force out Medics of the Future; Fear Profession Will Suffer as Low-Income Students Go Elsewhere

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

THE North East could lose out on home-grown medics due to students from low-income backgrounds facing huge debts after they have graduated, a leading union has warned.

A new report published today reveals medical students from low-income backgrounds are graduating pounds 13,000 more in debt than their better-off peers.

The British Medical Association (BMA) survey also shows the number of students from the lowest income brackets in medical school has declined in the past 12 months.

The findings are revealed in the BMA's Medical Student Finance Survey 2010/11, which surveyed more than 2,800 medical students.

The BMA said the results raised concerns about the Government's plans to widen access to careers in medicine for low-income groups.

Laura Turkenburg, medical student representative of the North East BMA council, is in her fourth year studying medicine at Newcastle University.

The 21-year-old said: "There is no doubt the debt faced by medical students from lower-income families will have a detrimental impact upon the variety of people entering the profession.

"The North East is historically quite a deprived area and this means home-grown talented students, who may have considered pursuing a career in medicine, could opt to do something else because they can't afford to go to medical school.

"The BMA believes it is really important that doctors represent all aspects of society and, within the last five to 10 years, there has been a lot of work done to increase the diversity of medical students, encouraging people from all backgrounds."

The health union said it was not surprising there had been a worrying drop in the number of students coming from less well-off backgrounds.

Students undertake a five to six-year medical course and the report reveals the average medical student debt on graduation has risen from pounds 23,909 to pounds 24,092.

Those from lower-income brackets are graduating with a projected debt of pounds 37,588, up from pounds 26,324 in the past 12 months, the study found.

Graduate students, who study a first degree before studying medicine, had higher average debt of pounds 30,748. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.