Sociology in the British medical curriculum: A survey

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Abstract

Summary. A survey conducted among convenors of sociology courses in British medical schools showed a wide variation in course length, with two medical schools having no course, and two schools providing over 60 hours per year. A mean length of 32 hours was found, but there was considerable variation by region. London schools had a mean of 38.5 hours, compared with 40.5 hours in Scotland, and 22.3 hours in English provincial and Welsh schools. The latter group demonstrated a strong correlation between length of time the course had existed and the hours of tuition provided (r= 0.74, P= 0.007). No correlation was found at a significant level for London or Scottish courses. It is concluded that the London University edict making sociology compulsory in the medical curriculum has ensured a reasonable level of provision. Outside London, no such pressure has been available, and sociology has been squeezed as more subjects vie for curriculum time. Attitudes of non‐sociology staff are reviewed and found to be predominantly negative. The recent report of the General Medical Council is noted, and it is suggested that the need for such a lobbyist outside London is necessary to ensure sociology attains a more secure and substantial place in the medical curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Education
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

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