2,959,000 UK medical students in 2020, according to figures from the Department for Examinations (DfE), with a record-breaking figure of 1.8 million.
The number of graduates from the UK medical school system has been increasing steadily since the last census in 2008, and now stands at 3.3 million, an increase of over 6,000 from last year.
However, the DfE’s annual report on the future of medical education and training, which was published on Thursday, paints a bleak picture.
In a nutshell, the data shows that almost 70% of the UK’s graduates have been to university, and just over 60% have achieved postgraduate qualifications.
Only a handful of graduates have achieved doctorates in their fields of study.
While the statistics are encouraging, there are still a few key issues that need to be addressed, the report said.
For example, graduates of medical schools are still far from being fully educated.
A majority of students have completed their training and some have gone on to practise.
The report found that while more than half of medical students who graduated from a top doctor’s medical degree (MPD) in 2020 achieved an MPhil, only 20% of MPhil graduates achieved a postgraduate degree.
The DfEA also pointed out that the UK remains a world leader in the number of students who have achieved a PhD in medicine.
It said that more than 5.7 million people completed a post-doctoral qualification in the last decade, with nearly half of them from the US.
This, the agency said, is a “major driver” for the current shortage of doctors in the country.
It also highlighted the importance of the MPhil in the current medical landscape.
The DfEs figures suggest that this may be even higher.