MDU FY1 members have raised more than £30,000 to two charities helping fellow medical students and doctors in need.

It’s not easy being a medical student right now. Rising living costs and the COVID-19 pandemic have put an enormous strain on the healthcare profession in the last few years – especially when you factor in part-time jobs, studies, exams and placements.

That’s why we’re working with two charities that provide emotional and financial support to medical students and doctors: the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) and the Doctors’ Support Network (DSN).

Help raise critical funds for your peers by joining the MDU for your FY1 year and £5 from your £10 subscription will be donated to both charities.* Last year, our FY1 members raised more than £30,000 simply by being an MDU member.

*Valid for all FY1 applications from 2022 and 2023 qualifiers only.

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Commenting on the initiative, the MDU's chief executive Dr Matthew Lee said:

"Every day we hear from members who are struggling under intense psychological, social and financial pressures so we were keen to find ways to promote and support organisations who could help.

"I am delighted that through this initiative, our foundation year one members have raised more than £30,000 so far and we look forward to continuing our partnership with both the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and the Doctors’ Support Network in 2022."

Not sure why you need a defence organisation? Read more about why NHS indemnity isn’t enough and how the MDU can help you – as well as six myths about indemnity.

Share this article with other final year students to help fellow medics in need of emotional or financial support. They’ll benefit from being part of the UK’s leading medical defence organisation with expert guidance, support with medico-legal issues and help with professional development.


Helping medics in need

Medical students have been hit particularly badly with the rising living costs. A viral Twitter campaign with the hashtag #LiveableNHSBursary shows the current financial and welfare difficulties.

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) is a UK registered charity that provides financial assistance, health and wellbeing support, psychotherapy, and other advice and information to medical students, doctors and their families.

Here we talk to Claire Andersen, Head of Fundraising and Communications at the RMBF, to find out how your donations will support students and doctors in financial hardship.

How will the money raised by MDU FY1 members help doctors and medical students?

These donations will fund money advice for medical students and doctors in hardship, enabling them to tackle their debts and access appropriate financial support.

It will also help fund wellbeing resources, supporting students at risk of burnout, or help towards the costs of essential disability adaptations for a doctor’s car or home. These are just a few examples of the real difference these donations will make.

We’re hugely grateful to all the MDU FY1 members who supported us with their donations – it will make a huge difference.

These donations will fund money advice for a student in hardship, enabling them to tackle their debts and access appropriate financial support.

What support does the RMBF offer medical students, and when should they reach out?

If you’re a medical student in your final two years and you’re facing financial hardship due to a change in circumstances – either caused by illness, injury, disability or bereavement – you may be eligible for financial support from the RMBF.

For example, we’ve recently been supporting a student after their mum died. They couldn’t meet all their fees and living expenses because they’d been relying on financial support from their mum.

We’ve also been helping another student who developed a medical condition. They couldn’t juggle their part-time job alongside their studies, so they were falling into debt. Both students were at risk of dropping out of medical school. We provided them with financial help so they could continue with their studies, and it made a huge difference to them.

What advice do you have for students in financial difficulty or struggling with illness who need support?

I’d advise any medical student in financial difficulty to visit our website ( where you’ll find a wealth of useful resources and advice, including the Student Money Advice Service. 

If you’re experiencing financial difficulty because of ill health, disability or a family bereavement, you may be eligible for our financial support. You can contact us and get help in complete confidence.

Remember that MDU membership for medical students is free find out more about joining here.

This page was correct at publication on 24/05/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.