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Launch of Bristol Medical School marks new era for medical education

A patient and GP consultation at Merrywood surgery in Bristol

Press release issued: 1 August 2017

The University of Bristol will launch the Bristol Medical School today [Tuesday 1 August]. This marks a new era for medical research and education in the West of England. Comprising around 1,330 students and 900 staff, the Bristol Medical School will provide a home for researchers, teachers and students, who through research and teaching will improve the health of individuals and populations locally, nationally and internationally.

The launch of the Bristol Medical School coincides with the introduction of a new medical undergraduate curriculum – MB21 – which will equip Bristol medical graduates with the skills and qualities needed by doctors in the rapidly changing world of 21st century healthcare. Currently, over 1,000 medical students receive their education and training across the five years of the programme, spending time both at the University but also in clinical academies within NHS Trusts across the South West.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Head of the Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol, said: “Bristol Medical School marks a new era in health research and education at the University. This will be an exciting environment in which to work and study. Colleagues delivering cutting-edge research in areas including population health sciences, cardiovascular sciences, and neurosciences, will work with clinicians in the School and the NHS to provide a wide range of educational opportunities for students in the undergraduate medical programme, as well as those in postgraduate taught and research programmes.”

The MB21 medical undergraduate programme will welcome its first students this September. The new curriculum approaches the teaching of medicine in a way that will educate clinician scientists who excel in patient-centred care across community and hospital-based specialties. Students will be taught to approach the diagnosis and treatment of ill-health in the context of the whole person, focusing on the wider social and wellbeing issues that may have contributed to the symptoms presented.

Professor Purdy added: “We are incredibly proud of our medical graduates who consistently rank amongst the best in the country in postgraduate specialty exams. In collaboration with students, patients, and colleagues in the NHS, we have built on the excellent medical undergraduate training that we currently deliver to develop a new programme that will produce doctors who excel in the clinical, communication and leadership skills that are a pre-requisite for the practise of medicine in the 21st century.”

Lina Alim, President of the University of Bristol’s Medical Student Society, Galenicals, said: “The MB21 curriculum will shape tomorrow's doctors, allowing students early clinical exposure to consolidate their role as part of the multidisciplinary team. It will develop medical students into confident doctors who adopt a holistic approach to patient care.

“Students were involved throughout the development of the MB21 curriculum, and their ideas, concerns and expectations were central to the process. Being part of the team and feeling both heard and acknowledged has made us proud to be students at the University of Bristol.”

Professor Purdy added: “The Medical School is the largest and one of the most diverse Schools in the University. Many members of staff in the University and the NHS, students and the public have been involved with developments in the medical programme and the formation of the Bristol Medical School. As with any organisation, it is the people who are most important in creating a successful and supportive working environment. I am very grateful to all those who have worked so hard on these exciting projects and I very much look forward to working together in the future.”

Find out more about studying medicine at Bristol by visiting the medical undergraduate programme.


Further information

History of Bristol Medical School
Bristol had a medical school long before the current University received its Royal Charter in 1909. Founded in 1833, Bristol Medical School educated scholars from the city and beyond. In 1893, the Medical School was incorporated into what was, for a short time, University College, Bristol.

Medicine has been taught at Bristol on a continuous basis since the first Medical School, and now medical education in the city enters a new phase.

Bristol Medical School
The new Bristol Medical School sits in the University of Bristol's Faculty of Health Sciences. It will deliver innovative and holistic teaching that teaches students ‘whole person’ care, complemented by real-life training in a range of NHS Clinical Academies. The School’s excellent network of partners will help them learn about new advances in medical technology, drugs and procedures and the opportunity to become actively involved in conducting world-class research alongside some of the UK’s medical pioneers.

About the University of Bristol Specialist Research Institutes (SRIs)
Bristol Heart Institute and Bristol Population Health Science Institute are two of seven newly created Specialist Research Institutes (SRIs) designed to reflect Bristol’s strength and depth in key specialisms.  They catalyse research collaboration and partnership, providing outstanding academic training. Our institutes position Bristol among the world’s leading research-intensive universities and destinations for students and staff internationally.

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