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Celebrating first graduates from independent medical school

1 July 2019

On 29th June, the inaugural student cohort from UK’s first independent medical school since Victorian times graduated at The University of Buckingham.

“This is a massive milestone in the 43-year history of the University, just a month after The University of Buckingham Medical School was accredited by the GMC after a very demanding five year period,” said Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor.

Dean of Medicine, Karol Sikora, said: “Our first group of students were real pioneers. We couldn’t get GMC approval until the end of the course but they took the risk, were completely committed and were successful. We are truly proud of them.”

One of the features of the programme is early patient contact, starting within the first six weeks of the course. Consultant and GP-led teaching is embedded in the school, with all of the first cohort taking their clinical placements at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

The University’s flagship project is the Academic Centre at Milton Keynes University Hospital. This was officially opened in February 2018 by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent. The University shares the Centre with the hospital where junior doctors and students can hone their skills. The Academic Centre, which was part-funded through SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund, includes state-of-the-art simulation suites, a lecture theatre and open social learning spaces. It is a place enjoyed by staff and students and provides a calm atmosphere for the intense learning required in medicine.

“When we started, the attitudes of some in the sector were a little sceptical,” said Professor John Clapham, Pro Vice-Chancellor. But many medical schools were keen to work with Buckingham in areas such as student selection, policy and Fitness to Practice.  60% of students on the course were home students, indicating a strong demand for medical school places in the United Kingdom and the quality of the offering at Buckingham University. The Medical School welcomed its first cohort of students in January 2015.

As with all graduation ceremonies, the Medical School has awarded honorary degrees. These were presented to former Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Dr Terence Kealey and who originated the idea of a small university to dare to open a private medical school, David Nott OBE, who has spoken passionately to our students about the harrowing reality of war medicine and to Helen Taylor Thompson OBE, founder of Europe’s first AIDS hospice at the Mildmay Hospital in London’s East End.

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