The financial burdens of medical training risk deterring future generations from becoming doctors, putting the profession at risk, a recent survey has found.
Costs of education and a lack of financial incentives were cited as the main challenges to future recruitment to the medical profession by 78 per cent of doctors in a survey conducted by medical financial services provider Wesleyan.
The findings come after figures released earlier this year by the university admissions body UCAS revealed that applications to study medicine in England fell from 14,240 in 2012 to 12,620 in 2016.
Concerns over the rising costs of medical education were heightened further this year after the Government announced the scrapping of maintenance grants, with many medical students now likely to face debts of more than £100,000.
Daunting levels of debt
BMA medical students committee co-chairs Harrison Carter and Charlie Bell said it was time for the Government to get to grips with the impact of rising debt to avoid shortfalls in staff numbers in the future.
They said: ‘The daunting levels of debt facing prospective medical students, in addition to the prospect of entering into an overstretched and underfunded health service, are clearly a great concern among existing doctors as to future recruitment to the profession.
‘The levels of debt associated with studying medicine are likely to have the greatest impact on students from the most underprivileged backgrounds, thereby threatening to undermine efforts towards widening participation in medicine.’
Read the BMA guide to student finance
Read more from Tim Tonkin and follow on Twitter.