Increasing diversity at the cost of decreasing equity? Issues raised by the establishment of Australia's first religiously affiliated medical school,

29 July 2014

Medical education in Australia is about to undergo major changes, with the founding of six new medical schools, including the first private medical school and the first religiously affiliated medical school in Australia. The establishment of medical schools at Bond University on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Western Australia, are particularly noteworthy developments. A recent article in the Journal claimed the new medical schools will foster diversity and are commited to fill “particular workforce needs”. 1 We argue that increasing the range of options for medical education is not an unquestionable good, as it may threaten academic freedom and equity in medical education as well as just provision of health care. This article aims to stimulate awareness, conversation and debate on these issues, not only within the medical community but in the wider Australian community.