Hello everyone! My name is Carolyn Thomas, a recent school leaver hopefully going on to study medicine at the University of Dundee this coming October. Like many of you out there interested in a career in healthcare, I was fascinated by the sciences and how they can be used to improve lives. Knowing that medicine is competitive and with little knowledge on the application process, I was lost on how to start my journey. Luckily for me, I came across an advert for Medic Mentor’s Get into Medicine Conference and immediately signed up. Packed with information about different universities and how to apply to medical school, I had never felt so determined to work towards a goal as I had when I left the conference that weekend. And that was the beginning of my Medic Mentor journey.
I worked closely with Medic Mentor to understand more about medicine as a career and to improve my application for medicine. Becoming a school ambassador was a key aspect of my journey because it welcomed me into a network of aspiring medics, dentists and vets, many of whom have become my closest friends. As a school ambassador, I was able to get more involved in my school’s medics’ society and learn from other aspiring students whilst being inspiring younger pupils. I know that applying to medicine can be tough, but knowing that other people are in the same position as you means that you can support each other and enjoy yourselves while you do it.
The support and motivation I received from Medic Mentor was like no other! The mentors and students were always encouraging me to go above and beyond my comfort zone to develop skills in ways that I may not have considered otherwise. One example would be presenting at a he Get into Medicine Conference. Now I know what you’re thinking, presenting in front of parents and children must be daunting and I thought so too! But when you’ve got everyone around you hyping you up and encompassing you with positivity, there’s no way you can’t enjoy it. From my personal experience I can definitely say it was one of my favourite presentations to this day.
It’s a good thing to remember that applying to medicine is not just about your grades. Aspects like the UCAT and personal statement can seem alien to you if you don’t know much about them (which I didn’t once upon a time). That’s where the Summer School came in. I was able to complete a personal statement and practice interview style questions whilst also learning valuable techniques for the UCAT. Honestly, that week was hard work, but it was so worth it! I really enjoyed the way that Medic Mentor designed games to help us improve our communication skills and how all the mentors encouraged us to be the best version of ourselves. If you’re looking for a confidence booster, that’s one right there.
The good thing about Medic Mentor is that they didn’t stop there. My Summer School mentor was able to help me decide which universities I should apply to and I was even able to attend the school ambassador’s meeting designed to help with interview practice. Practicing interview questions with the medical students at Medic Mentor really assured me that I was on the right track and overall just gave me more faith in myself.
Even now, I am still shocked to say that I received four offers from medical schools. As a Scottish student, I was keen on applying to Scottish universities and had applied to Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Prior to interviews, I had researched the courses at all the universities and spoke to current students at each one to gauge a better understanding of where I would like to go. After a lot of thinking, I finally chose Dundee as my firm choice because I believe it is more suited to my learning style and offers early clinical exposure, which was something I was keen on.
It’s safe to say that Medic Mentor have become my second family on my journey to medicine and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.