A silent injustice robs medicine of much of its best talent. According to the Education Statistics Authority quoted in the BMJ, 25% of first year medical students in UK universities were from private schools – which account for only 7% of all school pupils. At the same time, research published in BMC Medicine, shows that pupils from non-selective schools performed better in examinations than those from private or grammar schools. If Brexit leads to restrictions on hiring doctors from Europe, our pool of medical talent will be further impoverished. The challenge of bringing able pupils from middle and lower income families into our medical schools is not just a matter of social justice – it will be crucial to the nation’s future health.