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The waiting game

Seven in 10 medical students cannot afford basic necessities, finds survey

More than seven in 10 UK medical students said they cannot afford basic necessities, according to a survey.

An annual BMA poll found over two-third (70%) of 639 surveyed students have no choice but to go without essentials, such as heating and food, to be able to cope financially. 

The BMA said the findings are ‘not necessarily surprising as just under half of respondents said that they anticipate running out of money before the end of the year, up from 40% in the last survey’. 

The survey also revealed the average total debt for students amounts to £43,700, of which £38,406 relates to the student loan. This compares to an overall debt of £28,884 in Scotland, where students are not subject to tuition fees.

Since 2012/13, tuition fees have significantly increased, jumping from £3,290 to £9,250.

In its previous survey, conducted in 2013 and looking specifically at first year medical students, the BMA reported the mean average debt for medical students amounted to £16,167.

The BMA said: ‘The financial burden of studying medicine is too much for some respondents and 5.5% were considering leaving their course.

‘Worryingly, more than two-thirds of respondents said they are cutting down on essentials such as heating, food or professional clothes to economise. 

‘Relatedly, the rate of applications for hardship funding following consultations with student support services has risen since the last survey.’


Readers' comments (10)

  • Who would be a medic eh!

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  • I'm part of the "buddy scheme" in my training programme to help support medical students. Believe me when I say 3rd year students onward are all very well informed of the issues raised by Pulse and the number is likely higher than 5.5% as I feel admitting to yourself that you've made the wrong career choice will only worsen your already broken morale.

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  • Cobblers

    Old news.

    Back in the day (late 70s) I worked every holiday and sometimes weekends to get me through med school. As the time commitment to medicine ramped up so did my overdraft, so much so that my bank manager 'requested' to see me and said that the business model was for them to make a living from my money not the other way round. As it was I pointed out that I was less than a year to qualifying and paying them back. He smiled.

    But, of course, at that time I believed medicine was a career worth continuing. Not so sure now.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Where is Cameron doing these days ?
    Where is Clegg doing right now?

    History will judge these people stennuously?

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  • AlanAlmond

    I really feel for these guys, they are going to be well a truely shafted, they will be required to pay back every penny. i can't see that starting a career with £80,000+ debt (pure guess probably more) in a profession where the government holds a virtual monopoly in employment, makes any rational sense. they won't be able to save any money, buy a house or anything, they'll just be slaves to a cynical government for the bulk of their working lives. it might make sense to take on that level of debt in a country like the USA where you have a realistic prospect of earning serious money but in the U.K.? i don't think so. sorry to be down on it but it just makes me so sad that our intelligent hard working young folk are getting into this without really understanding the reality of that level of debt, just because it's what everyone else is doing doesn't make it anything other than a form of collective generational madness. you can't extract £80,000 from a young persons early income without it having a significant negative impact on their future life sorry it's just common sense. especially on an NHS salary.

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  • Makes no sense becoming a doctor these days. They get shafted even after they graduate.

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  • Get the Bsc and leave end of year 3
    Then apply for KPMG,DELOITTE,PWC,EY etc

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  • Vinci Ho 11.55am.

    I heard that "Call me Dave", having finished being fellated by a boars head, is looking for a hoodie to hug in consolation for ruining his/her future along with that of the rest of the country.

    And Mr Clegg? Who cares?

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  • I think all students should be means tested. scholarship to those who are poor but bright .they should have condition attached that they serve nhs for 5 years.
    it is very sad when a good student can not do this degree because of his/her economical situation.

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  • In the old days the light at the end of the financial tunnel was a Consultant post or partnership. Wage stagnation for last 9 years and reduced pensions have broken this.
    Graduates recruited to the curry of starting salaries of £50,000. Starting salary for management scheme at Aldi £42,000. Why be a medic? It’s not all about money but when your professionalism and public standing are eroded too then why be a medic???

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