New government minister for school standards acknowledges the value of studying RE for a range of careers

You may have seen an article from the British Medical Journal by Nikki Nabavi being shared on social media in the summer. Nikki is an editorial scholar at the BMJ, and fourth year medical student, University of Manchester, and her co-author, Callum Phillips, is a Clegg scholar at the BMJ, and final year medical student, Southampton University.

The piece Encourage students with a humanities background to become doctors - The BMJ says:

Between us, we have studied music, drama, French, law, religious studies, philosophy, and ethics to an advanced level, and both of us believe these subjects have had a far reaching impact in shaping the skills we’ll need to become the doctors we hope to be.

Studying ethics can offer you a unique opportunity to learn how to evaluate moral judgments, and gives you a framework for defining right from wrong, which is arguably the backbone of medicine. You are taught to write academically, think critically, and structure an argument. By studying philosophy or religion, you gain an academic insight into logic and reason, and how to question or critically analyse—not accepting facts at face value. In any service role, such as being patient facing, you will encounter people from different faiths and walks of life, and there is a benefit to understanding or appreciating their values or beliefs, especially given the role of a doctor to instigate change in someone’s life.

We thought it would be helpful for government ministers to hear Nikki’s views so RE Today CEO, Zoe Keens wrote a letter to them, drawing attention to the article. We received a response this week in which the new minister for school standards; Robin Walker MP says: