My journey with Medic Mentor began in the Autumn of 2017: at this point I had just begun year 11 and was confident with the idea that medicine was the course I wanted to apply for however had very little knowledge on what the process really involved. So, I decided to attend the ‘making it into medicine’ national healthcare weekend in the November – this event is specifically tailored to the students who perhaps realise they may want to become doctors but don’t really know how. This conference invites many brilliant guest speakers to talk about their own journey into medicine and give many tips, ranging from work experience to the UCAT, about how to maximise your chances in the next 2 years. As a 15-year-old who had no idea where to start, this information was invaluable and still something I attribute to helping me successfully secure a place (A-levels pending!) for medical school in September.
After attending this course and completing my GCSE’s I applied to the Medic Mentor Ambassador Medical Leadership programme; this allows current school students to meet with other likeminded ambassadors from around the country and discuss ways in which students can help support aspiring medics in our own schools. This enabled me, along with other students from my school, to promote the idea of a medical society which has now been set up and is being ran my members of the science faculty – allowing students to have more support for the medicine application process and practice for interviews.
Medical Leadership also massively increased my own confidence and provided me with the chance to help organise and coordinate one of the National Healthcare Conferences, which I had attended only a year prior. During this opportunity I meant many inspirational speakers who answered so many of my questions and provided me with advice for the future, it also gave me a great teamwork and leadership example to talk about at my recent medical interviews.
Throughout the year Medic Mentor hold events for the Medical Leadership programme (MPL) where the student ambassadors meet and consider ways that they can help the medical, dentistry and veterinary community in their own schools and collaborate to share ideas about how to improve support for applicants. For me, Medic Mentor also provided me with ways I could make my application to medical school standout: being an ambassador allows you to gain many amazing transferable skills that will be so useful as a medic in the future and also to gain further research into areas of interest. In the summer term of year 12, I wrote an article on medical ethics in cancer care which was published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 Medic Mentor anthology magazine.
Writing this article allowed me to explore the concepts of ethics in more detail and also gave me an amazing talking point for future interviews. The publication team were so helpful and supportive throughout and made it so easy for me to successfully complete my article.
In the summer of 2019 I attended the Medic Mentor Summer School, this was a 6-day course which provides year 12 students with help on their medicine applications. Here I saw many familiar student ambassador faces; each student is assigned a mentor who is a medical school student and many have been part of the medic mentor team for many years. These 6 days provided me with invaluable help for my upcoming application, I received help on every part of the process from UCAT and BMAT tips to personal statement preparation to having a real mock interview. I am convinced without the dedication provided by my mentor and all the team there I would not have been as confident and assured applying to medical school that October.
The Medical Leadership Programme has truly been an amazing community to be part of for the past 2 years of my life, it has provided me with many opportunities that have allowed me to develop my own skills and help others also. It has played a huge part in the reason I was able to gain offers for medical school this year and I hope to continue my journey as a medic mentor even after High School ends. My advice for aspiring medics currently in year 11’s and 12 is to get involved, the MLP will benefit you in so many ways for your application and beyond.
Written By Jessica Longden, Year 13