New Medicine Course Aims To Train Clinical Researchers Of The Future

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A new course that aims to turn science graduates into academic clinicians is announced today.

The Graduate Entry Medicine course at Imperial College London will train science graduates to become medical doctors over four years, rather than the six taken on the MBBS BSc course. It aims to create the clinical researchers of tomorrow by giving medical training to graduates who already have a solid grounding in science.

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The new course will take 50 graduate students per year, with a minimum upper second class degree or PhD in a biological sciences area, complementing Imperial's undergraduate medical intake of 286 students per year. The first students on the new course will start in 2008.

Imperial's Rector, Sir Richard Sykes, said: "As medicine becomes ever more complex, we are going to need academic doctors - specialists who understand the science beneath the pathology. It's really important for us to provide graduates with a route into medicine because they can bring with them a breadth of scientific expertise, as well as having some life experience under their belt before they begin their medical training."

Professor Stephen Smith, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine, added: "Our new course will produce first-rate clinicians with the skills and expertise to undertake first-rate research. Such people will be crucial when it comes to tackling the medical problems of the future."

During the first, fast-track, year of the course, students will supplement their existing knowledge and undertake a clinical foundation course and an introductory clinical attachment. They will then join students on the existing six-year programme in their three clinical years.

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