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Celebrating 10 years of widening access to medicine

1 July 2011

Head of School with EMDP graduates

Head of the School of Medicine, Professor Anne Greenough with some  of this year's MBBS graduates who entered the Medicine programme through the Extended Medical Degree pathway.


King’s Extended Medical Degree programme (EMDP), the UK’s flagship widening access to medicine programme, celebrated its tenth year last week with awards to some of its most outstanding students.

EMDP is a six-year widening access to medicine programme and was the first of its kind in the UK when it started in 2001. The programme was established to enable students with academic potential, who have not necessarily achieved the high A level grades required by conventional medical schools, to study medicine. 

The programme is supported by the work of the Outreach for Medicine Office which aims to raise the aspirations of young people in schools local to King’s, encouraging them to consider pursuing a career in medicine. The Worshipful Company of Barbers generously sponsor a number of outreach activities.

King’s admitted just 10 EMDP students in its first year, the first doctors from that year graduated in 2007. Today there are around 300 medical students at King’s who have entered through the EMDP route. This Friday, 31 EMDP students will receive their degree certificate at the School’s graduation ceremony at Southwark Cathedral. 

Every year since the programme started, the achievements of EMDP students have been celebrated at an annual ‘Celebration of Success’ awards evening.  Mr Bruce Cope, Master of the Worshipful Company of Barbers was in attendance at the event and presented Barbers prizes to 30 EMDP students (full list below) in recognition of their academic achievement.

The EMDP was conceived by Sir Cyril Chantler Vice-Principal of King’s (1998-2000). Cyril visited a primary school in Southwark and was impressed by the bright and motivated pupils he met, but he was disheartened to learn from their teachers that these children would have very little hope of achieving the A levels needed to gain a place on a medical degree because of kinds of schools they would attend.

This lack of educational opportunity prompted Cyril, along with Professor Susan Standring, to bid for extra places to be funded by HEFCE for students who have attended non-selective schools in London, from the poorest boroughs, who could demonstrate ability and motivation and who could succeed on the medical degree if the A level offer was realistically achievable, and if they were appropriately supported whilst on the course.

The EMDP programme is designed to give students extra support during the phases of the medicine degree programme, so students study the first two years of the standard curriculum over three years. Extra pastoral support is also given to them during this time in the form of EMDP advisers who teach the students and who understand the programme. Students undergo the same rigorous assessment as students on the standard programme.

Phase 4 student, Edwin Selvaratnam, himself recognised at the ceremony for notable achievement, spoke at the awards evening about the personal impact of the EMDP programme on his life and reflected on the wider impact the programme has had. He said: 

Children of this generation born in difficult environments are finding it harder than before to break free of their background.  They may have the talent, ability and determination, but haven’t had the means or opportunity in life. Thankfully the success of EMDP has begun to be recognised and is acknowledged as nationally as the flagship widening access to medicine programme... The EMDP has unearthed a wealth of talent. Students haven’t just integrated onto the course, but excelled’.

Dr Alison Stenton (Co-director of EMDP with Dr Steve Thompson) added:

The event has been an opportunity for us to celebrate, not only with these new graduates, but also with EMDP students who are still at the beginning of the 6 or 7 years it will take for them to become qualified doctors. We have not just marked another year of the EMDP – we have celebrated its 10th year’

Complete list of winners

Prizes for academic achievement

  • Imran Ali
  • Kellie-Ann Cummins
  • Sara Iqbal
  • Gavin Lambert
  • Samantha Obom
  • Jackson Pat
  • Mazeda Sultana
  • Kimberly Welsh
  • Comfort Adewole
  • Cassim Akhoon
  • Shehzad Griffiths-Anwar
  • Jermaine Wright
  • Joanna Baawa Ameyaw
  • Matilda Esan
  • Leticia Harding
  • Matthew Zelic
  • Mariama Marfo
  • Helen McMahon

School of Medicine Merit awards

  • Uzma Ayub
  • Charles Badu-Boateng
  • Nicole Gayle
  • Aia Mehdi

Distinction in basic medical science

  • Agnesa Mustafa

Outstanding work in the EMDP-specific curriculum

  • Kimberley Welsh

Clinical Skills prize

  • Helen McMahon

Prize for achieving marks of over 70% in all three pre-clinical SSCs 

  • Lalesia In-Goke

EMDP Student of the Year

  • Amy Fanning

EMDP ambassadors of the year awards

  • Mohbin Khan
  • Sam Evbuomwan
  • Matthew Zelic















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