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Title: "Getting on" in medicine : the progression and careers trajectories of doctors from widening access backgrounds
Author: Kumwenda, Benard
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6678
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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Although diversifying the socio-economic profile of medical students is a UK government priority, students from widening access backgrounds remain under-represented in medical school. Most of the research to date on this topic focusses on investigating barriers of access to medicine at the point of selection into medical school. Yet, while a small number of applicants from widening access backgrounds are successful, research that investigates how the underrepresented students who manage to go past the selection hurdle progress in medicine is lacking. To address this gap in the literature, this thesis compares the performance and progression of doctors from different sociodemographic backgrounds. The approach taken in this thesis is observational, using longitudinal secondary data analyses to examine how students from widening access backgrounds progress through medical education and training. Five separate studies compare the outcomes of students from different socio-economic and socio-demographic backgrounds. The first study included in the thesis investigates whether the efforts to attract graduate applicants into UK medical schools has had any impact on diversifying the medical student population. The second study looks at the relationship between school type and academic performance at medical school. The third study looks at the relationship between socio-demographic factors and selection into the first stage of UK postgraduate training, the Foundation Programme. The fourth study examines the geographical mobility of UK trainee doctors. The final study examines the relationship between sociodemographic factors and specialty destination. Findings from the first study indicate that the efforts to diversify the medical student population on socioeconomic grounds by attracting graduates has been only marginally successful. Findings for the other studies show that there are marked differences in terms of academic performance at medical school, selection to postgraduate training, choice of training location and medical career choices between students from non-traditional and traditional background. The findings provide supportive evidence that widening participation can boost the number of medical graduates who are more likely to train locally and remain in the area to serve their communities. The studies also confirm that disadvantage continues for certain groups of widening access students, even after they enter medical school. The final chapter discusses the overall findings in relation to social mobility, social accountability and workforce planning.
Supervisor: Cleland, Jennifer A. ; Prescott, Gordon J. Sponsor: UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) Research Group
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical education ; Educational equalization