After having joined the Medical Leadership Programme this past academic year, the experiences and opportunities which have been afforded to me, have led to my own vast personal development, in both an academic and personal sense. My name is Isabella Kressel and I am currently in Year 12 at Priestley Sixth Form College.

I became part of the Medical Leadership Programme following a National Healthcare Weekend in November, which inspired me to join the Medic Mentor family. After the weekend, I also joined the Awards programme and signed up for the Summer School, because I believed that they would provide extra motivation and guidance to an applying pupil, like myself. In retrospect I can indeed confirm that I was correct.

The Medical Leadership Programme teaching days have offered in-depth teaching into topics which had previously worried me. A notable example is the Covid Innovation Programme which offered the chance to develop my scientific poster making skills, within a group environment, and receive critical feedback.  This process of hands-on work and simultaneous feedback gave me the possibility to improve. These teaching days have had a noticeable positive impact on my confidence, leadership, presenting and networking skills. These enhanced skills have allowed me to undertake further projects and have helped me develop into a more active team member, as I now feel able to express my own opinions, something that I had previously not considered possible. For example, in February I presented at a National Healthcare weekend, whereas during lockdown I joined the Virtual Medical Society and became a student campaigner for the Medic Mentor Royal Medical Benevolent Fund, Furthermore, my group’s poster project was shortlisted for the Covid Innovation Programme. I also felt motivated to: help found a general healthcare society at my college, help my peers start their Extended Project Qualifications during lockdown and have written an essay for my school’s history magazine (which is yet to be published).

Going forward, with continuing involvement in the Medical Leadership Programme, I believe I can still improve my leadership skills even further. For example, within my academic studies and during the Medical Leadership Programme teaching days, I aim to take a more active leadership role within group discussions and work. I would also like to take a more active role in my volunteering on the dementia ward at my local hospital, possibly helping younger volunteers if the chance arises (once Hospital volunteering has resumed) and thereby demonstrate more active leadership during my day-to-day life. 

Overall, I am extremely grateful for the teaching, which I have received through the Medical Leadership Programme and I recognise that it has had a very positive influence on me. I am conscious that my journey is only beginning, as I still have a large scope for improvement in many areas, for example, my general communication skills. Despite this, I have never quite felt so inspired and motivated to keep pursuing a medical career, as in the time I have been a part of the Medical Leadership Programme.