Aspiring medical students got the chance to quiz doctors about their careers at a mentoring event for young people.
Eighty GCSE and A-level pupils from schools in Merseyside and Cheshire asked mentors about everything from what subjects they took at school to what was the worst thing about their jobs.
Outgoing BMA president Baroness Ilora Finlay welcomed the 15- to 18-year-olds to the event at the BMA annual representative meeting and encouraged them to pursue careers in medicine.
She said: ‘Medicine is wide open. We need people from all walks of life to come in, because patients come from all walks of life. Our society needs people who understand the complexities of the way that everybody is living.’
Attendees got to spend six minutes talking to each of the 12 mentors from a range of specialties and grades.
Positive and engaged
London specialty trainee 3 in cardiology Anantharaman Ramasamy, who acted as a mentor, said: ‘The students were very positive, engaged and keen to learn.
‘One of the great things about the event today was the range of mentors. We have medical students, junior doctors, registrars and consultants here. It’s nice to have the variety so students can get different responses from different people.’
It was the first mentoring event for young people held at an ARM and aimed to give pupils encouragement and practical advice.
Learning coach Les Wellens, who had brought a group of students from St John Plessington Catholic College in The Wirral, said it helped encourage those from all backgrounds to consider medicine.
He said: ‘There was a lack of confidence from some of the students but listening to the doctors’ stories has helped them believe it could be them one day.’
Range High School pupil Benedikt Thorburn said: ‘I’m really interested in immunology. Today was useful because I could ask questions and learn about what to do next when I finish school.’
Pupils were also told about the launch of a medical school selector on the Student BMJ website, which matches grades to medical school entry criteria and allows users to compare courses.
Read our updated and comprehensive guide on how to become a doctor.
Find out more about ARM 2015