Health Education England (HEE) is in the early stages of establishing an apprenticeship programme that would enable candidates to become doctors without completing a traditional undergraduate medical degree.
According to HEE, the plan, which would allow trainee doctors to earn while they study, is designed to make the profession “more accessible” to people unable to pursue a medical degree due to financial or time constraints.
The programme, which would end in candidates obtaining an undergraduate medical degree, would have a “strong primary care focus,” according to a statement given by the BMA.
The apprenticeship, if launched, would be funded by the apprenticeship levy, which the government created in 2017 to promote apprenticeships for all companies in England with a pay bill of more than £3 million.
‘It is anticipated that such an apprenticeship would make the profession more accessible, diverse, and representative of local communities while retaining the same rigorous training standards.’
According to the letter acquired by HSJ from the BMA on the proposal, apprentices would be required to meet the same GMC requirements as current medical students; thus, the “medical curriculum would not differ between studentships and apprenticeships.”
It is also suggested that companies and medical institutions be permitted to establish their admittance criteria.