My name is Zoe Okoye and I am a year 12 student who has been enrolled in Medic mentor’s medical leadership programme for the past year and let me tell you it has been one incredible journey! ( This picture shows me presenting at a NHW earlier this year!)

Some of the activities that I have partaken in are as follows. A mere week after enrolling, I was in London for a day discussing presentation skills. I thoroughly enjoyed this and presented to over 30 people on a topic that we had been given to research about one hour prior! Everyone was incredibly supportive, I was given great feedback. I met some great friends who I am still in contact with regularly today. The second session was in Birmingham for me, we took a dive into the world of medical ethics and problem based learning scenarios! This challenged me and I struggled to engage, but by the end of the day through some thought provoking conversations, I felt much more confident in being able to pick apart a problem to come to a solution collectively!  We also spent a large amount of the day discussing medical societies and the dynamics of a truly successful one. Equipped to return to our sixth forms and set up something that is supportive and useful, we learned the importance of a team mentality as aspiring medics, we are there to support each other and be supported by Medic Mentor to all achieve our goals.

 Due to an unforeseen and widely known change of circumstance (i.e COVID-19) we couldn’t meet in person for our third session, the scholars took this in their stride and put together the “COVID-19 innovation programme”. This was possibly the most rewarding and by a country mile the most challenging of the sessions. We were tasked with creating a research poster on a given topic over  three days, critically appraising articles and learning to think like true academics. To follow, a conference displaying our work hosting talks from people at the forefront of COVID 19 research.

I have found all of the events thought provoking and challenging, yet so fun! Networking with so many like minded people has proved a source of unfaltering support, especially during the pandemic.

Looking back on the year, I would love to become more inquisitive, applying more new skills to my leadership in medicine and in general life, this is something I hope to develop further next year. The excellent thing is that I have never felt more engaged in the world of medicine, neither more equipped as a leader before and there is still more to develop and discover.

My previous point is made possible by the atmosphere of support, this is vital is because the aim of medical leadership is training up each other and the next lot of budding medics, as I am feeling supported and uplifted, I am also being equipped to equip other with the skills they need to make a competitive candidate and a phenomenal doctor.  I have learned to be independent, confident, and accustomed to university style academia. These skills are extremely transferable to a career as a doctor, they are in essence teachers. We are being taught to become leaders, and all good leaders must be teachers.

I have identified strengths in teamwork, bringing together a team, I have applied this to my school life in becoming part of next years MedSoc leaders, and engaging with them during this lockdown to keep the group bonded, as well as participating in a number of other teams of students with various goals.  I have applied the skills I have learned in teamwork outside of school too, with a new confidence in my teaching and ability to lead by example,I am now an activist for youth strike for climate and the black lives matter movement which are both really just two global teams, as well as improving the way I conduct myself in my netball team. Medical leadership really overflows into every area of life, supporting, teaching and learning from each other.

My next steps are to develop these skills in the next year of the MLP. I hope to develop these skills further, getting stuck into even more leadership activities on this programme!