When I was 6 years old on ‘dress up as your dream career’ day at school, I went as a doctor. However, this was not because I was this incredibly focused child that knew I wanted to pursue medicine from a young age. It was actually because Doctor was the first costume my mum found in the shop and, much to my dismay, Stegosaurus wasn’t a viable career option. Flash forward to now, I am finishing year 13 with a part-time job as a healthcare assistant, holding 4 offers to study medicine (at Leeds, Sheffield, Exeter and Queen Mary). This achievement would not have happened without the aid of Medic Mentor.
The first time I heard of Medic Mentor was at the end of 2018 when I was an audience member at a Get into Medicine Conference. By this point the career that I so quickly dismissed as a 6 year old was now something that inspired me. After watching healthcare professionals actively make decisions that improved my Grandma’s quality of life, I was seriously thinking about becoming a medic. However, the few other people I knew with similar goals to mine seemed to be so much more prepared or had other medical professionals in the family. Although I was passionate, I felt like there was a lack of understanding, lack of support and lack of self-belief that was ultimately holding me back.
That was until I heard multiple speakers talk so passionately and confidently about their various roles within medicine and experiences as medical students. Now I was aware of PBL, Expedition Medicine and what I could do to make myself a better candidate. The conference not only opened my eyes to the breadth of medicine but also made me aware of the steps I needed to take to achieve a goal that now seemed obtainable. My desire to pursue a career in medicine was no longer merely a consideration but a true aspiration.
Along with school, I was volunteering with disabled adults, learning to play golf and using the Medic Mentor study guides to increase my knowledge while also attending Medical Leadership Programme meetings that taught me about things like medical ethics and the importance of reflection within a healthcare setting. Lack of understanding and insight, much like the Stegosaurus, was now a thing of the past.
In the summer of 2019 my journey with Medic Mentor continued when I attended the Summer School. This was genuinely such an influential week in my life in terms of preparing me for medicine applications. Not only did I write my entire personal statement (yes, the whole thing!) and have mock interviews, but it was here I also met the most dedicated, kind-hearted and inspirational people. I think having that opportunity to spend that much time with others that share your passion is so beneficial. Being given the opportunity to work alongside mentors that have gone through the application process is incredibly stimulating. And yes, it was a lot of work but that was matched with some of the best laughs and fun I have ever had. I also love that the night before my first medical school interview, I was able to facetime other students I met on the summer school to share knowledge, worries and opinions.
Medic Mentor provides you with this amazing network of people, both professionals and aspiring professionals meaning there is no lack of support.
I’m not going to pretend that the road to where I am now was completely smooth but the preparation and continued support from medic mentor truly helped. And, yes, I may be one of those people that has to make L shapes with their fingers to differentiate between left and right but I am also someone that has been taught to focus on improving myself and consider those around me as future colleagues as opposed to competition. It’s thanks to Medic Mentor I can believe in myself. Now, I can confidently say that I am excited that soon I might get to wear doctors clothing that isn’t a just a costume for a 6 year old.