Admission to medical school is not the endpoint of widening participation


widening access
transition to university
barriers to access
social/economic/cultural capital
imposter syndrome

How to Cite

Sartania, N. 2023. Admission to medical school is not the endpoint of widening participation. Open Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 2, 3 (Jul. 2023). DOI:


Scholarly papers addressing widening access and participation in medicine have mushroomed in the last decade or so, but the focus has predominantly been on the first part of the equation: access. The time has come to consolidate the gains in widening access and develop the latter half of the equation and ensure equitable participation of students from non-traditional backgrounds. Academic discussions about class and social mobility concentrate on understanding the factors that determine (or limit) people’s upward trajectory and how class origins still play a strong role in it. This paper builds on a critical evaluation of the published literature on the topic to discuss the barriers (perceived or real) that students from widening participation backgrounds experience on their journey from admissions to progression through to medical training and into the workforce. It is discussed what tangible measures can be taken to break the cycle of social reproduction and help students from disadvantaged backgrounds successfully enter the medical professions.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Nana Sartania