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About us

Who we are

M4RD exists to provide education and practical tools targeted at medical professionals, enabling them to improve diagnosis and care of people living with rare conditions.

An estimated 3.5 million people in the UK live with a rare condition and one of the greatest challenges highlighted by this patient group is lack of medical professional awareness. 

A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 1 in 2000 in a population and approximately 7000 rare conditions have been described. Rare diseases have been a health priority in the UK and across the globe for many years now. Our power to diagnose rare conditions and our scope for treatment has vastly accelerated in the last twenty years. 

However the accepted approach to medical education on rare disease has changed very little in that time. Usually a handful of individual rare diseases are taught about in medical education based on factors such as geographical proximity to a specialist center, an educator with a special interest or purely because it’s traditional to teach about some conditions in certain specialties. Usually this kind of education has a biomedical focus, rather than a holistic focus that is needed in rare conditions. The majority of which are life-long and cause multi-system involvement. 

The charity is small and consists of a friendly group of staff and Trustees. The work can be intense but rewarding as the charity responds to the needs of the rare disease political landscape.


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