A new medical school is set to open at the University of Sunderland, with the first cohort of students joining the university in September next year.
Sunderland is one of only five universities who won the bid for a new medical school. It is hoped that the new facility will address the regional imbalance of medical education across England and ensure the profession reflects the communities it serves.
The new school will focus on GP and Psychiatric training, and will complement existing medical provision in the region.
Vice-chancellor Shirley Atkinson said: “Our bid presented a compelling case for an innovative medical school for those with talent and who present the requisite medical school entry requirements, regardless of their background and social status. We will provide accessible medical education training for a new generation of doctors, recruited from the communities in which they live and where they will eventually practice.
“Our bid was backed unreservedly by our NHS partners and clinicians and we are also working closely with the City Council to provide an environment and a range of new amenities to retain young doctors in the region to halt the disappointing drift south of many newly qualified medics.”
Ken Bremner, chief executive South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This development will build upon Sunderland’s proven success in medical sciences and nursing education and will help address the medical inequalities in the North East. I am not surprised that the University was successful, it was an outstanding bid and Sunderland will also widen the social profile of medical school entrants.”
Professor Scott Wilkes, head of School of Medicine and Professor of general practice and primary care at Sunderland, commented: “Our specialisms will address the well-publicised need for more GPs and Psychiatric specialists. This will complement existing provision in the region.
“Our programme will incorporate multi-professional learning and extensive exposure to real-life clinical settings and through our own simulation suites located at our own state of the art Living Lab”.
Sunderland’s new School of Medicine has been allocated 100 places: the first cohort of 50 medical students will join in 2019-20, rising to 100 the following year.
Medical students will learn in the University of Sunderland’s existing Heath Sciences teaching and learning space, which include outstanding facilities, real-life settings and the latest simulation equipment.