Medical student in hospital setting

08 September 2020

Founding Medical students start their course at Kent and Medway Medical School

This is an historic week for Kent and Medway as just over 100 founding medical students start their Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery programme at the county’s first medical school, Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS). The school is a collaboration between Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent benefitting from the strengths and experience in both healthcare teaching and research they offer.

KMMS had over 1500 applicants for its places and interviewed nearly 300 students, so these pioneering students have fought off strong competition to join us. In a reflection of the school’s ambition to create a generation of doctors that reflect the community they serve; the school is delighted that nearly a quarter of their students come from Kent and Medway and 37% are from backgrounds traditionally less well represented in the medical field.

Since the bid for medical places was announced in 2018, we are grateful to all our sponsors and generous benefactors who have to date secured £20 million towards the project including £4.3 million in philanthropic gifts. Funding for 27 scholarships have allowed many KMMS students, who otherwise may not have been able to consider undertaking the 5-year course, to be able to achieve their dreams of becoming a doctor.

The KMMS students will study in bespoke facilities at the Canterbury campuses of both universities and will take up placements across the community of Kent and Medway. It is hoped that many of these students will choose to stay in our community to help address the acute shortage of doctors in the region.

The school has appointed an international faculty that brings together local, national and international expertise. Together they aim to give their students an understanding of patient-centred care across both GP, community and hospital settings and to ensure they understand the benefits to working together with inter-disciplinary teams of healthcare workers and colleagues from other professional backgrounds involved in the delivery of excellent healthcare services.  

KMMS has been supported throughout its journey by our partner school Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which will continue its support until 2025. The school has innovation at its core, with a strong focus on digital solutions, this approach has allowed KMMS to open despite the team needing to work in the challenging circumstances posed by the Covid-19 pandemic for the past few months.

Professor Chris Holland, Founding Dean, KMMS, said: “I have been planning for this day since I was appointed as founding Dean two years ago. To open a new medical school in that time scale is an immense achievement but to do it during the Covid-19 pandemic is extraordinary. This achievement reflects the dedication and hard work of my team and the amazing support we have from both our parent universities, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the NHS, the wider Kent and Medway community and the incredible generosity of all our benefactors.”

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: "We're delighted to welcome our founding cohort of medical students to the first ever medical school in the County of Kent.

"Together with the University of Kent, we have come a long way since we gained approval to establish Kent and Medway's first medical school in March 2018. We are immensely proud of all the hard work our KMMS colleagues have achieved to see it come to fruition. KMMS will have a positive impact upon the future healthcare needs of our region providing skilled doctors and supporting the clinical workforce."

Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent, said: “The opening of the Kent and Medway Medical School is an important milestone for medical training in the region, and a major achievement for all those involved. I would like to thank all our colleagues, supporters and benefactors who helped make this happen. Their hard work and commitment have ensured that KMMS will provide one of the best medical school experiences in the country. I look forward to personally welcoming our very first students, and I wish them all the best for their studies and training as medical professionals.”


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Last edited: 15/01/2020 11:19:00