Letters Broadening access to medicine

The extended medical degree programme at King’s

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a249 (Published 05 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1264
  1. Pamela B Garlick, director, extended medical degree programme (EMDP)1,
  2. Gavin Brown, lecturer in human geography2,
  3. John Rees, dean of undergraduate education1,
  4. Anne Greenough, head1
  1. 1King’s College London School of Medicine, London SE1 1UL
  2. 2University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH
  1. pamela.garlick{at}kcl.ac.uk

We would like to comment on Ip and McManus’s editorial on our extended medical degree programme (EMDP) at King’s College London.1

Firstly, our aim in setting up the programme was to enable bright motivated pupils from inner London state schools to become doctors; we had no intention of future matching of doctors to patients, in terms of class or ethnic origin.

Secondly, the 50 EMDP places are extra places, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and added to the 360 places on our conventional medical course.

Thirdly, we believe that we are not lowering standards with the EMDP students. Although they are given lower A level offers to enter medical school, once they are on the course they have to take the same assessments and achieve the same pass mark as conventional students.

Interestingly, in the two most recent assessments, more than 20% of the EMDP students came in the top 20% of the whole cohort. The increased diversity provided by the EMDP students has had a positive impact, and the medical school and these students are justifiably proud of their achievements.


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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