Opinion Former Article

MDU supporting medical students and foundation doctors during COVID-19 pandemic

The Medical Defence Union (MDU), the UK’s leading medical defence organisation, has launched a package of support to help medical students and foundation doctors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The MDU is automatically waiving membership fees for medical students starting their foundation year 1 (F1) post early without the need for student members to contact us.

In addition, the MDU has launched a health and wellbeing resource to help final year students and foundation doctors to cope with the pressures of their roles.

The MDU package of benefits for medical students and foundation doctors also includes:

  • 24-hour medico-legal advice and assistance
  • Free membership for students volunteering, for example as a healthcare assistant during the virus outbreak
  • Support with any complaints or disciplinary investigations that arise
  • Advice and assistance with coroners inquests/fatal accident inquiries
  • Help with writing reports and statements and support if called as a witness
  • Representation, where needed, from the MDU’s expert team of specialist doctors and solicitors
  • Indemnity for claims arising from Good Samaritan Acts, worldwide.

Dr Matthew Lee, professional services director, said:

“We know that many of our medical student members are keen to help out with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students have already volunteered to help. For example, a medical student team from Queen Mary University of London recently joined Barts Health NHS trust as volunteers to fight against the coronavirus.

“MDU final year student members are being provisionally registered to work as F1 doctors and we will be supporting these doctors with free membership until they move into their regular foundation training posts later this year. We are also continuing to provide free membership to student volunteers. There is no need for these members to contact us as they can automatically benefit from MDU membership.

“We appreciate that our student and foundation doctor members will be facing unprecedented pressures in their roles. To help them manage the demands placed on them, we have also launched a free health and wellbeing online learning resource. It is especially important during the pandemic to support those starting out in medicine to help them manage their anxieties and to avoid burnout later on in their career. The online learning is available free to all foundation doctors and we hope as many of them as possible will have time to complete the module in the coming weeks and months.”

The MDU’s health and wellbeing online course is freely available to all foundation doctors at www.themdu.com/learn and looks at areas such as:

  • coping with adversity and anxiety
  • spotting signs of mental ill health
  • responding constructively to feedback
  • psychological impact of complaints
  • when to seek help for yourself or a colleague.

Keep up to date with the latest medico-legal and membership news on COVID-19 at www.themdu.com/coronavirus


The MDU is a not-for-profit organisation wholly dedicated to our members’ interests. Our team is led and staffed by doctors with real-life experience of the pressures and challenges faced in practice.

We offer our members expert guidance, personal support and robust defence in addressing medico-legal issues, complaints and claims. Our customised services range from legal assistance to indemnity to appropriate CPD.


Dawn Boyall, Jessica Hammonds, Fernanda Nidecker in the MDU’s press office

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