My name is Shaan Kulkarni and I’m an aspiring medic in Year 12 at Sir Thomas Rich’s School.  Since joining the Medical Leadership Programme (MLP) at Medic Mentor I have been able to access a huge number of unique experiences and learning opportunities which I plan to use to strengthen my university application. 

Once I was accepted on to the programme, one of the first things I wanted to do was set up a strong medic society that would meet regularly for any students in the school interested in applying to study medicine. After working with many staff and talking with students about what they would want to get out of a medic society, I managed to set up the first meeting at the start of 2020. Meeting every week since then our society has grown in numbers significantly and despite school closing early this year, we managed to cover a range of topics such as UCAT and BMAT, Problem Based Learning, medical ethics and many more. Leading the medic society, I wanted to ensure that all members could be given opportunities to take on active roles, as such many sessions were led by different members, allowing everyone to develop presentation skills. I also reached out to doctors and former students of the school to see if they would be willing to give a talk to our society. We had two Foundation Year 1 doctors come to give a talk about building a strong application to study medicine as well as talking about their jobs and the good and bad parts of working as doctors. In addition, we had another talk from a former student who talked about her personal journey to studying medicine and how she prepared for the UCAT exam. One of the biggest challenges in running the medic society is coordinating the session every week and with the society being completely student run, it is my responsibility to ensure we have an activity for each session that is useful to everyone who attends.

One of the main reasons I joined the MLP is the amazing teaching sessions I got to attend. When I was first invited to one, I was unsure what to expect but it went beyond my expectations. The sessions were run by medic students and doctors who all had expertise in what they were presenting. There was also just a small group of students meaning the session felt very personal and engaging. The day focussed on how to give constructive feedback but beyond that we were taught many other skills such as teamwork, communication, research and presenting skills.

The COVID-19 research week for students on the MLP was one of the highlights of my MLP journey. In the week we were divided into small groups each with a supervisor and given a number of tasks, the final one being making a research poster which we would later have to present. The whole week was organised so well and I learnt so many skills especially how to research as an academic would. Normally when building a medical school application, researching skills are one the hardest to prove as there are few opportunities for young students but thanks to the MLP, I was able to thoroughly develop this skill to strengthen my application. 

Overall, the MLP has provided outstanding opportunities all of which I plan to use later in the year when I start my university application and write my personal statement. Thank you to all the team at medic mentor for providing these experiences.