Medical schools are to receive updated guidance to ensure that disabled students do not face unnecessary barriers in pursuing a medical career.
Research has found that disabled students are under-represented in medical schools; in 2009, less than six per cent of medical students declared a disability1 compared to 19% of working-age adults in the UK2.
The General Medical Council has worked closely with representatives of medical schools and disability experts to review its guidance, Gateways to the Professions: Advising medical schools, encouraging disabled students, to improve the support available for disabled students wishing to access medical education.
Professor Jim McKillop, Chair of the GMC Undergraduate Board and a member of the working group which reviewed the guidance, said:
"It is really encouraging to see more individuals with a disability seeking entrance to medical school and schools making appropriate adjustments to accommodate their needs, as for many years unnecessary barriers have stopped them from pursing a medical career.
"Diversity in the medical profession is clearly beneficial to individuals, patients and the profession itself and there is no reason why, with the help of reasonable adjustments, more disabled students should not be able to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities through a medical career."
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