Commenting on the publication of the consultation on the Expansion of undergraduate medical education, Professor Derek Bell, President, and Dr Katherine Walesby, Chair of the Trainees and Members' Committee, at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:
"Recruiting and retaining a world-class workforce should be about ensuring that the NHS is an attractive environment in which to pursue a career. We should pursue positive measures to achieve this rather than penalising those who consider leaving.
"We need to ensure that the values of time to care, time to train and time for research become an intrinsic part of the culture of the NHS. Increasing medical school places alone will not deliver this change in culture.
"It is important that we begin to look at how we create a workforce with the capacity to meet the needs of the NHS and its long-term sustainability, and increasing the number of medical school places will assist in this regard.
"However the NHS is facing significant challenges right now; these cannot be ignored or we run the risk of alienating the next generation of doctors.
"This College is also keen to ensure that doctors from overseas continue to be recognised for the positive contribution that they make to the functioning of our NHS and remain a central part of our future workforce planning. Any new proposals for medical school places should not deter overseas students from coming to the UK to study and train."
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