It is nearly 200 years since Birmingham opened its first medical school and with the UK suffering from a shortage of doctors, particularly in deprived areas, there has never been a more urgent need for the city to have increased health education. We conduct pioneering research into the particular health problems that affect the West Midlands communities, such as maternal health, cardiovascular medicine, and mental health and our first cohort of postgraduate medical students commenced their studies in 2016.
Medical schools have the ability to improve public health in the communities in which they are founded. Birmingham’s health outcomes are considerably poorer than the UK average - a problem magnified by the city’s shortage of doctors. In Birmingham child mortality is nearly twice as high as the UK average.
Pathway to Healthcare
Aston Medical School is already paving the way to address the inequality of students from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds entering medical education. A generous donation by Sir Doug Ellis has allowed us to work with 100 children from local schools with the highest levels of deprivation to prepare students to enter medical school and other healthcare professions through a two year outreach programme.
Aston Medical School will also conduct pioneering research into serious health issues such as
- Maternal Health – led by Professor Asif Ahmed, whose team support an innovative placement research programme for students in Life and Health Sciences
- Cardiovascular Medicine – led by Professor Francisco Leyva, who is working closely with The Institute of Photonics as we develop a new field of cardiovascular photonics
- Mental Health – led by Professor George Tadros, who is working closely with neuroscientists in the School of Life and Health Science
- Regenerative Medicine – led by Professors Yuchun Gu and our recently appointed Professor of Stem Cell Biology, Pentao Liu from the Sanger Institute, Cambridge.
Aston Medical School will operate a pioneering recruitment model for the medical degrees. A cohort of 60 undergraduate medical students will begin in September 2018. In line with our mission to promote social mobility and international connectivity we will be inviting applications from both international fee paying students and those local UK students who have successfully completed our Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme. This generation of GPs will learn digital medicine, digital pathology, touch screen databases and a modern team-based approach. The exposure to this type of education will really enhance future practice for when they will become GPs themselves. With your help we can provide a new medical school - a dedicated building for teaching and training.
"I’m delighted to support the ‘Pioneers for Change’ Campaign. Few projects are as
ground-breaking as the launch of Aston Medical School. Not only is this a huge boost for students from hard to reach communities, but it will also create doctors for the local area, improving health and well-being."
Dr Tim Watts
Honorary graduate, 2007
Former High Sheriff of the West Midlands
Milda Bartkeviciute, Pertemps Medical PhD scholarship recipient
"I could never have afforded the fees required to study for a PhD. To be awarded with the Pertemps Medical PhD Scholarship means that I can pursue my future career in research, realise my scientific potential and have the opportunity to make a difference to significant health challenges."