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During my time working with a tutoring and mentorship initiative in my medical school I was fortunate enough to be able to work with some extremely intelligent and bright children. Though it’s difficult to pick one that I would say was my favourite, I can think of one who will always stick in my mind. For anonymity purposes, I will call the student X.
X went to school in one of the most deprived areas in western Scotland, a school which struggles to achieve results and struggles even more to send students to university. X went into care and struggled at home with family problems. However, X was very bright indeed, and with a small amount of motivation and confidence began to believe that anything was possible. X would come into every tutoring session eager to see her tutors and learn something, and even came into medical school one day to sit in on a problem based learning session. Then the story begins to take a downward turn. X didn’t have the support from school or family to find hospital placements or UKCAT teaching, didn’t have the support to find the volunteering posts that have become so important on medical school applications and X certainly didn’t have £500 to spend on work experience.
This is an all too common story and one whose narrative must be changed. Getting into medical school is difficult enough for these students without adding financial pressure to the story. Work experience should be open to all students who require it for university courses, and any ‘administration’ fees should be seen as NHS future proofing.
The BMA is working to allow all students the same chance of getting into medical school with the production of a widening participation web resource and guide to becoming a doctor - because at the end of the day- X is one less compassionate, dedicated and exceptional doctor working for the NHS.
Mita Dhullipala is the MSC widening participation lead
Have a look at The Right Mix
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What would you be your advice to those applying to medical school?
Great post emphasizing the fatal flaws of getting into medicine, resources should be available to everyone and no pupil should ever have to worry about the financial aspects of applying to medical school.