My name is Tess Anderson. I went to Largs Academy in North Ayrshire, Scotland. I have been a School Ambassador for a year and co-founded a Medical Society at my school. The Medical Leadership Program and other opportunities that Medic Mentor has provided, have helped me to gain 4 offers from Medical School.
My first experience of Medic Mentor was at the National Healthcare Weekend in the March of S5 (Year 12). I remember being nervous walking into Stirling University with my Dad. I wasn’t sure of what to expect and thought, “should I have been involved earlier?” as I had only recently discovered Medic Mentor. I really enjoyed the first day, we heard talks from several doctors of multiple specialties. I felt welcomed and knew that I wanted to work with people like those at Medic Mentor in the future. My Mum came with me on the second day, we were given lots of information on the process of applying to medical school. This was a more serious day, covering so many necessary details about the process of becoming a successful applicant. The weekend showed me that I had lots to do but it also made me more confident, enthusiastic and excited about my application into medicine. Both my parents enjoyed the weekend and found that it gave them a solid understanding of what lay ahead for me. It made me realise that enrolling in the Summer School programme would help me immensely.
Summer School was not easy, each day was jam packed working on learning and improving skills, from writing personal statements to UCAT teaching and mock interviews. The staff ensured that we all understood the importance of working hard whilst also taking meaningful breaks that stimulated the creative side of our brains. This guaranteed that we remained efficient learners while maintaining good mental health. It was also great fun. I made lots of new friends with whom I have stayed in contact with, giving me a support network during the stressful application process. We were placed into groups of around 6, with a mentor who was a Medic Mentor Scholar and current medical student. They helped us throughout that week and have also kept in touch with us, supporting us during the application process. The many interview skills sessions, working in groups practising interview questions and roleplay stations as well as individual mock interviews were invaluable. As well as completing my personal statement, we also had UCAT and BMAT teaching. We were shown how to answer questions within the given time and taught techniques that helped us spot different patterns decreasing the time taken to complete the questions. Participating in Summer School included access to Medify – an extremely helpful tool when practicing for the UCAT. The week ended with a final mock interview, wearing interview attire, making it more realistic. I was nervous but looking back it certainly helped me to prepare for Medical School interviews, as the more mocks I did, the less daunting the interviews became.
On the final day, our parents arrived and had the chance to meet the staff and mentors. We discussed how I did throughout the week and what I still needed to improve on. My mentor wrote a reference that was used by my Guidance Teacher to help her write my medical school reference, as they are different to those needed for other university courses.
The regular meetings with the Medical Leadership Programme have improved my leadership skills and have given me more opportunities for interview practice. In S6 (Year 13) I co-founded my schools Medic Society. This has given me the opportunity to speak in front of each year group, helping me build my confidence. It has also allowed me to help those in years below me who wish to become doctors, dentists or vets. I have really enjoyed passing on the knowledge that I have learned through Medic Mentor.