King’s College London GKT School of Medical Education (abbreviated: GKT) is the medical school of King’s College London. It is the biggest healthcare training facility in Europe. The school has campuses at three institutions, Guy’s Hospital(Southwark), King’s College Hospital (Denmark Hill) and St Thomas’ Hospital (Lambeth) in London. The school in its current guise was formed following a merger with the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals on 1 August 1998.
The medical school has an annual intake of around 335 places on the standard MBBS Programme, 50 places on the Extended Medical Degree Programme (EMDP) and 28 places on the Graduate/Professional Entry Programme (GPEP) which does not include 2 places for Maxillo Facial (MaxFax) Entry. It receives more applications for medicine than any other UK medical school and as of 2016 applicants were required to sit the UKCAT admission test.
The medical school is ranked 8th in the world, as adjudged by Times Higher Education (THE) in its World University Rankings 2015–2016 by subject (Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health Results), commenting that “…While the overall strength of these countries has dipped, some of their institutions have moved against the tide. One of these is King’s College London, which makes its debut in the top 10 (eighth). As to QS World University Rankings (Medicine) 2016, the school is ranked 21st globally. The school is ranked 27th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2018.
The School was named the GKT School of Medicine between 1998 and 2005. However, due to confusion over the official name of the institute, especially with regards to research emerging from the university, it was rebranded as the King’s College London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals.
In 2015, to reflect the strong history of the multiple institutions that comprise the medical school, the School once again rebranded as the King’s College London GKT School of Medical Education.
The hospitals associated with King’s College London GKT School of Medical Education, i.e., Guy’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital (hence the GKT name and abbreviation), are: “amongst the oldest hospitals in the world, having endured the Black Death, the plague, the War of the Roses, the Great Fire of London, the Blitz and over 60 years of NHS reforms.”
Of the three hospitals, St Thomas’ Hospital is the oldest and was founded in 1173 but whose roots can be traced to the establishment of St Mary Overie Priory in 1106. Sir Thomas Guy, a governor of St Thomas’, founded Guy’s Hospital in 1721 as a place to treat ‘incurables’ discharged from St Thomas’.
In 1982 the two medical schools decided to merge and formed the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, more commonly known as UMDS. It was enlarged in 1983 when the Royal Dental Hospital of London School of Dental Surgery merged with Guy’s Hospital Dental School, and again in 1985 with the addition of the Postgraduate Institute of Dermatology.
Discussions between King’s College London (which had trained medical students since it was established and founded its own hospital, King’s College Hospital, in 1840) and UMDS regarding a further merger began in 1992. UMDS was subsequently absorbed into King’s College London on 1 August 1998, forming the Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine, more commonly known as GKT. In 2005, the entity was rebranded King’s College London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals, also known as KCLMS. However it is still widely known as GKT amongst current students, graduates and consultants who consider themselves affiliated to the hospitals rather than the university.
In 2005 the dental school became the Dental Institute and the remainder was renamed the King’s College School of Medicine. The dean, Robert Lechler, oversees the running of both the Medical and Dental schools, as well as the School of Biomedical Sciences (all three were formerly regarded as GKT before the rebranding).
Before the start of the 2010/11 academic year, Physiotherapy became a part of the School of Medicine, having previously been run by the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences.
Guy’s Campus is situated close to London Bridge and the Shard on the South Bank of the River Thames. It holds New Hunt’s House Library and building, Hodgkin Building and Wills’ Library, Henriette Raphael House and Guy’s Hospital.
The St Thomas’ Campus in the London Borough of Lambeth, facing the Houses of Parliament across the Thames, houses parts of the School of Medicine and the Dental Institute. The Florence Nightingale Museum is also located here.
Denmark Hill Campus is situated in south London near the borders of the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southwark in Camberwell and is the only campus not situated on the River Thames. The campus consists of King’s College Hospital, the Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN).
King’s College London, generally in 2005, is the sixth-most difficult UK university to gain admission to the, as ranked as Sunday Times. A freedom-of-information request in 2015 revealed that for every 1,764 applications that School of Medical Education received, only 39 offers were made thereby resulting in an offer rate of just 2.2%; Nursery & Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Clinical Dentistry also had one of the lowest offer rates of 14%, 16% and 17%, respectively.
Graduation ceremonies for School of Medical Education are normally held in June or July (summer). During summer graduation, the graduation ceremonies are held in Southwark Cathedral; this is owing to St Thomas’s Medical School roots that could be traced to St Mary Overie Priory. For those who happen to finish during January (winter), graduands could opt for attending the graduation ceremonies held in the Barbican Centre.