Academic shortage threatens medical education and research, warns BMA
(issued Friday 20 May 2011)
A shortage of medical academics is threatening to undermine the UK’s vital clinical research base and leave some medical schools struggling to teach their students, the leader of the country’s medical academics will say today (Friday, 20th
The warning, from Professor Michael Rees, Co-Chair of the BMA’s Medical Academic Staff Committee, will be delivered in his keynote speech to delegates at the Conference of Medical Academic Representatives (COMAR) in London.1
Professor Rees will say:
“In the past 15 years the number of medical academics has declined while the number of students entering medical school each year has almost doubled in the last decade2
. Our medical academic base is now barely able to sustain the increased number of medical students.
“The temptation in this time of financial crisis might be for universities to shed further medical academic staff. This would be a grave mistake. It would result in a worse student experience at a time of rising fees, and further undermine our research base. Taking the temperature of current university intentions, however, we could find ourselves fighting significant redundancies over the next few years. We need to ensure this is not the case.
“Not just for the medical academics we represent, but for the current and future generations of medical students and the patients they will serve.”
Professor Rees will also warn the conference that changes to funding threaten to further undermine education and research. He will say:
“Changes to the funding of our universities, modifications to the funding of clinical teaching and the new Health and Social Care Bill in England all threaten to destabilise further medical academia in this country and with it the valuable contribution medical academics make to UK, through the NHS, our universities and industry.”
For a full copy of the speech please contact the BMA Press Office on: email@example.com
Notes to Editors
1. The COMAR conference brings together medical academic representatives from across the country and is taking place at BMA House from 10am. Professor Rees will deliver his speech to delegates at 10.10am.
A full agenda is available on the BMA’s website.
If you are interested in attending the conference please contact the BMA Press Office on firstname.lastname@example.org