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A representative medical curriculum

A representative medical curriculum to reflect the diverse population we care for and those we educate

Andrew Walker (School of Medicine)

Project overview

The University of Leeds Medicine and Surgery MBChB (MBChB) has a proud record of successful Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives including widening participation, becoming the first UK Medical School to achieve the Gold Athena Swan award, and implementing the "I Belong" initiative of Dr Bridgette Berwick, a current Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) fellow.

The COVID pandemic has widened existing societal and structural inequalities, highlighting the importance of EDI and the need to embed these values within the curriculum. We witnessed the financial vulnerability of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the increased risk of COVID-19 infection within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Community. This reinforces the need to identify representative clinical examples from patients of all ethnic backgrounds, as well as the urgent priority to diversify clinical research. We will draw on the experiences of other institutions and work to diversify and “decolonise” the curriculum, by engaging with our students, patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) to gain a deeper understanding of these factors.

The project provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the current MBChB curriculum and re(de)fine the focus of the programme to ensure University Values are at its heart. Allied to the core work of the Curriculum Redefined project, which will involve mapping the current curriculum and considering priorities for change, this project will allow for a deeper process of engagement with stakeholders to understand the key issues which are important to our students, patients and colleagues with a particular focus on EDI.

The research approach

The project will use surveys, interviews, focus groups, listening rooms and thematic analysis to identify key priorities for change amongst the stakeholder groups. We plan to draw on big data expertise from LITE and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics to analyse the wealth of information generated by the project. In particular we will prioritise themes raised which relate to our commitment to EDI and place a key emphasis on this area within curriculum redesign.

For more information about the project contact Andy (

Each fellowship has a project sponsor that helps the fellows achieve impact across the institution. The sponsor for this fellowship is Kenny McDowell.

Project start date: January 2022