University of Leicester eBulletin

National First for Leicester Medics

July 2003

On Friday, July 11, a group of medical students graduated from the University of Leicester Medical School to become the first fast-track medical students in the country.

The pilot cohort of 15 students began their four-year course before the link between Leicester and Warwick Medical Schools began. One of their number, Christopher Johnson was recently featured in a Sunday Times story on medical fast-track degrees.

His first degree was in Zoology, followed by research and a PhD in Physiology in Canada. While he admitted he would not have chosen Medicine at 17, by the time he was in his 20s he wanted a change of direction. Quoted in The Sunday Times, he said: “Physiology and people came to equal doctor. It became a burning ambition.”

Without A Level Chemistry his hopes seemed doomed to failure, but the foundation of the Leicester fast-track course offered an opening, which he took.

Professor Ian Lauder, Dean of Medicine, said, “We have been delighted with the success of these pioneering students, and wish them well as they start their careers in the health service. Our School is committed to innovation in medical education. This autumn we look forward to welcoming the first cohort of students on a new four-year programme, this time designed for people with previous qualifications in other health sciences.”

The cohort of fast track graduates received their degrees at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester, on Friday, July 11, 2003 at 3 pm.

Note to editors: 

Further information is available from Nigel Siesage, Secretary of the Medical School, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2961, email

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Last updated: July 2003
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