Medical students working in groups

Diversity and inclusion are vital concepts underlying several strands of activity within MEdIC. Medical schools have a critical role in training doctors who understand the impact of societal inequity and who become advocates for the communities in which they are working. MEdIC is committed to developing socially accountable medical education, including within the student curriculum, widening access to healthcare careers for under-represented groups and creating an inclusive educational environment for all students and staff. 

An example of innovation in this area is the Community Action Project; where Year 3 medical students on a primary care placement work in collaboration with the local community to design and deliver a targeted intervention to address a local health need. These projects synergistically address community health needs and provide educational benefit for medical students.  

MEdIC also leads an innovative primary school education programme in which medical students work with a local school to deliver health education to pupils as part of a medical education special study module. This programme raises aspirations of school pupils, as well as supporting medical students with teaching skills and developing an increased understanding of the diverse community in which they are studying. 

There is a great need in the UK for medical professionals to mirror the profile of society, to help tackle educational and health inequalities across our communities. With 30% of children living in poverty and 80% of medical school places awarded to students from 20% of our schools, the MEdIC team are involved in a number of programmes that raise children and young adults’ aspirations, including opening up a pathway to higher education and a career in healthcare.  

These include the WATCCH (Widening Access to Community Careers in Healthcare) programme, which supports local school students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to access healthcare via work experience, education workshops and mentoring.  Research in this area focuses on how such programmes address barriers faced by students from widening participation backgrounds to accessing healthcare careers.  

Community collaboration is vital for our work in this area. The team has strong links with community members, third sector organisations including the Grenfell Outreach Team and The Dalgarno Trust and local schools. MEdIC also has an established partnership with The Training for Health Equity Network who have a shared vision of true socially accountability within medical education. 


Selected publications

Maini, A., Neusy, A.J., Pálsdóttir, B. and Kumar, S., 2019. Developing socially accountable UK medical schoolsThe clinical teacher. 

Raines, A. and O’Connor, T., 2019. City Health Conference: Improving Access to Primary Care Among the Homeless Population of SouthallBritish Journal of General Practice69(685), pp.394-394. 

Selected presentations

Visani B.,  Douglass C. (2019) Cultivating an environment of social accountability: academic primary care for the future SAPC 2019 

Goodger A., Maini A., Douglass C., Visani B. (2019) A Community Collaboration: Dalgarno Trust & Department of Primary Care, Imperial College The Kings Fund, Community is the Best Medicine 2019 

Dutta N., Abdelwahed A., Houbby N., O’Connor T., Raines A., Douglass C., Kumar S. (2019) Community action projects in medical education The Kings Fund, Community is the Best Medicine 2019   

Raynaud I., Ruparell K., Dutta N., Maini A. (2019) Community action project – Youth Champions Royal Society of Medicine Child Health Promise 2019   

Dutta N., Chandauka R., Maini A., Kumar S. (2019) Widening Access to Careers in Primary Care- Findings from the WATCCH Program RCGP Annual Conference 2019  

Raines A., O’ Connor T. (2019) Improving Access to Primary Care amongst the Homeless Population of Southall BJGP Conference 2019  

Mollaney J., Fyfe M., Douglass C., McKeown A., Kumar S. (2019) Social Accountability at Imperial College London School of Medicine – Exploring intra and extra curricula activities  

Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference: DEMEC 2019 

Parekh R., Kumar S. (2018) The Community Action Project: Medical students leading health improvement projects via societal engagement The Muster 2018