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Sophie Simmonds is a postgraduate medicine student at Cardiff University and founder and inaugural president of the Medical Prep Society. She was awarded the BMA Sherman Fund 2018 which promotes the advancement of research and education in medicine in Wales. Here, Sophie tell us why the society is one of her greatest achievements and how much winning the award means.
I began reading BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences at the University of South Wales in 2014 with the aim of entering postgraduate medicine. During my time at USW, I was taught at an exceptionally high standard across an array of biomedical, anatomy and pathophysiology modules as well as opportunities for clinical teaching and hospital placements.
As a non-traditional student with a creative background as opposed to an academic one, I had serious concerns about my medicine application. I wanted to not only strengthen mine but help others too who were in the same position. This was my inspiration for starting the Medical Prep Society. What I hoped to achieve was a way of providing support to a community of students, staff and alumni and organise clinical workshops, mock exams and entry exam preparation.
The society became fully established in 2016 with 66 members and thanks to a strong link with Cardiff Medical School, we were able to attend monthly Pre-Clinical and Emergency Medicine workshops. This was a fantastic way of allowing us to integrate with current medics and increase our clinical knowledge.
I have no doubt that the society is one of my greatest achievement and I feel incredible proud that our membership is growing year on year. I am especially thankful to the members for their dedication and hard work. Thanks also to the supportive staff and alumni, we provided our first MMI mock exam to help prepare students for real life interviews.
In 2017, I was offered a place to read medicine at Cardiff University as a postgraduate which is taught through a case based learning spiral curriculum which exposes us to different areas of medicine. We are constantly challenged to build our knowledge which is something I have thoroughly enjoyed. To top things off, I was awarded the BMA Sherman Fund last week which was an incredible honour. Being recognized for my work is a great feeling and I am ready to continue my journey towards becoming a doctor.