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"It's going to be hard you know…" Teachers' perceived role in widening access to medicine.

Alexander, K; Nicholson, S; Cleland, J; (2020) "It's going to be hard you know…" Teachers' perceived role in widening access to medicine. Advances in Health Sciences Education 10.1007/s10459-020-09984-9. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Medical schools worldwide undertake widening access (WA) initiatives (e.g. pipeline, outreach and academic enrichment programmes) to support pupils from high schools which do not traditionally send high numbers of applicants to medicine. UK literature indicates that pupils in these schools feel that their teachers are ill-equipped, cautious or even discouraging towards their aspiration and/or application to medicine. This study aimed to explore teachers' perspectives and practices to include their voice in discussions and consider how medical schools might best engage with them to facilitate WA. Interviews were conducted with high school teachers in three UK regions, working in schools targeted by WA initiatives. Data were analysed thematically using template analysis, using a largely data-driven approach. Findings showed that although medicine was largely seen as a prestigious and worthwhile career, teachers held reservations about advocating this above other choices. Teachers saw it as their role to encourage pupils to educate themselves about medicine, but to ultimately allow pupils to make their own decisions. Their attitudes were influenced by material constraints in their schools, and the perception of daunting, long and emotionally difficult admissions requirements, with low chances of success. Medical schools may wish to work with teachers to understand their hesitations and help them develop the mindset required to advocate a challenging and unfamiliar career, emphasising that this encouragement can further the shared goal of empowering and preparing pupils to feel capable of choosing medicine. Reciprocally, medical schools should ensure pupils have fair opportunities for access, should they choose to apply.

Type: Article
Title: "It's going to be hard you know…" Teachers' perceived role in widening access to medicine.
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10459-020-09984-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-020-09984-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Barriers, Diversity, High school, Interviews, Medical school, Teachers, Widening access, Widening participation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106988
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