On Monday, 265 final year medical students from the University of Cambridge graduated early, allowing them to seek early registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and enter the NHS workforce before their expected date in August.

This is an extraordinary and challenging time. We owe them, and all our NHS colleagues, a huge thank you and wish them well in the future

Patrick Maxwell

This forms part of a national effort by medical schools, the GMC and the NHS following the government’s call for additional medical staff in these times of crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said: “I would like to offer my warm congratulations to all of our successful final year medical students. These individuals are all entering the medical profession because they want to make a difference to people’s lives. Their years of clinical training will have helped prepare them for this day, but even so, this is an extraordinary and challenging time. We owe them, and all our NHS colleagues, a huge thank you and wish them well in the future.”

Diana Wood, Clinical Dean at the School of Clinical Medicine, added: “I am immensely proud of our 2020 finalists.  Clearly this was not the culmination of their medical student careers that they expected, and they all feel keenly the lack of shared celebration with the staff and their student colleagues at this time.

“Our students responded to this national crisis in an exemplary fashion, and I have been both impressed and moved by their reactions and their willingness to put their years of medical education into practice at this time.  I wish them all the very best for the next few months and great success in their future careers.” 

In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak and the pressure it is putting on the NHS, the School of Clinical Medicine last month took the decision, in consultation with the GMC, to cancel its final clinical examinations. The students had already completed their final written examinations and been assessed on clinical competence in previous examinations and on placements in a range of clinical environments.

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