MDU partners with Crisis Rescue Foundation to help medical students impacted by war and other crises

The MDU's Dr Udvitha Nandasoma will provide lecture support to the CRF Medical School UK Elective programme

Crisis Rescue Foundation logo

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has partnered with non-profit organisation Crisis Rescue Foundation (CRF) Medical School UK Elective programme to support medical students in and displaced from Ukraine and other war-torn regions.

The CRF Medical School supports oversees trainee and qualified doctors affected by war and other local crises to continue their medical education and get the support they need to care for patients now and in the future.

The MDU's head of advisory services, Dr Udvitha Nandasoma, will provide lecture support to the school. There are currently in excess of 2,000 students registered on the programme and numbers have grown by around 300 students in the last two weeks alone.

The CRF Medical School was established in April 2022 by Dr Sharon Raymond, a GP. Dr Raymond, who is the director of the organisation, said:

"We are really pleased to work with the MDU in supporting medical students from war-torn countries to access the education and peer support they need to continue their studies or to achieve placements in the UK when displaced.

"We were aware that some Ukraine-based lecturers were having to leave their bunkers to deliver lectures. Whilst medical education is disrupted or paused due to war or other local crises, we step in to act as a bridge until such time as medical education is resumed locally. In addition, we support those medics who've been displaced to the UK and are hoping to contribute to the NHS in achieving clinical placements in the UK. We have arranged around 50 placements to date.

"We are lucky to have a team of dedicated lecturers, many of whom are leading UK medical educators. We warmly welcome Dr Nandasoma to our lecture team."

Dr Nandasoma said:

"We are extremely proud to be supporting the vital work of the CRF Medical School UK Elective programme. Medical school is challenging enough without having to complete your studies from another country because of war or poverty in your home nation. The work Sharon and colleagues are doing to ensure students can keep studying is fantastic and we are honoured to be involved."

The MDU previously announced it was waiving the first year of membership subscriptions for doctors fleeing conflict in war zones, such as Ukraine, who come to practice in the UK.

The programme has received over 21,000 overwhelmingly positive feedback responses from students to date. Find out more about the CRF by visiting

Find out more about the MDU/CRF partnership at the MDU website.

This page was correct at publication on 08/06/2023. 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.