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What are medical doctor degree apprenticeships? A brand new route into medicine

  1. Nicholas Phillips, fifth year intercalating medical student
  1. Cardiff University
  1. @nick_phillips2

A revolutionary new route into medicine is launching in 2023. Nicholas Phillips looks at the details, rationale, and impact it hopes to have

What are medical doctor degree apprenticeships (MDDAs)?

MDDAs will provide an alternative pathway to medicine, outside the standard undergraduate or graduate university programmes. Apprentices will be employed by healthcare provider organisations1 and will be able to earn a salary alongside their studies.2 Originally proposed in February 2021,3 the first MDDAs are set to start in September 20234 with an initial group of employers4 and stakeholders,5 after the standard was approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and the Department of Education in July 2022.6

Material published so far provides no proposed structure for the placements, and states only that the knowledge, skills, and behaviours taught will meet the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Outcomes for Graduates.7 Health Education England (HEE) says “there is no element, academic or practical, of a traditional medical education that will not be completed by the apprentice.”2

Liz Hughes, medical director for undergraduate education at HEE, told The BMJ that “the apprenticeship will mirror the medical degree undertaken by non-apprentices” and that apprentices will be expected …

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