Increasing Representation in the Medical Curriculum through Student-Staff Partnership


  • Kathryn Haley Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Avril Hutch


The Student Engagement and Partnership (StEP) programme at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is a truly progressive model of student-staff partnership. Together, the perspective of the students and the expertise of staff enables reform which is both innovative and enduring. Through the StEP framework, the REPRESENT project was proposed by a medical student as a result of the paucity of clinical images representing clinical presentations on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic skin tones in the medical curriculum.  The project resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of lecture slides shown to students which include clinical images on both white skin and skin of colour, highlighting the StEP framework as a catalyst for student-led curricular change. These projects are a true reflection of the university’s commitment to heralding students as the co-creators of their learning experience.  It is inspiring to see how the university acknowledges the importance of contributions from every member of the academic community in driving progress and in shaping the future of the University.