Universities spearhead event to encourage more medical students from non-traditional backgrounds

Posted by pt91 at May 22, 2017 12:41 PM |
Conference by Universities of Leicester and Nottingham on 29 June targets teachers in Lincolnshire

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 22 May 2017

Young people from any secondary school can become a doctor: that’s the message that a conference organised by the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham aims to instil in teachers and careers advisers in Lincolnshire and beyond.

The universities are spearheading efforts to boost recruitment into the study of medicine by focusing on locations where young people have traditionally not applied for the subject.

The conference ‘A journey to medicine and healthcare’ takes place on 29 June from 9.15am to 3.45pm at North Kesteven School in Lincoln. Unlike other student recruitment events, the organisers are taking this conference out of the university, to the teachers themselves in an effort to hit home the message that medicine is open to everyone.

The free one-day conference is designed for teachers and career advisers from schools and colleges who do not send many students to university to study medicine, nursing or allied health professions, or are serving communities with high levels of disadvantage. It will be an opportunity for delegates to meet with staff from medicine and healthcare courses at universities from across the East Midlands.

Registration for the conference closes on Thursday 15 June. Places can be booked at: leicesterandnottingham.eventbrite.co.uk

The conference is being jointly organised by the University of Leicester and the University of Nottingham in association with the Medical Schools Council and North Kesteven School. The University of Lincoln and De Montfort University will also be represented.

Professor Richard Holland, Head of Leicester Medical School, said: “Medicine is a great career. I would encourage all A-level science students, particularly those taking Biology and Chemistry, to consider a career as a doctor if they genuinely enjoy caring for people, would enjoy a career that is constantly developing, varied, and intellectually challenging.

“We should be recruiting from all schools in the country and that is why we are delighted to be visiting Lincoln and meeting Lincolnshire teachers.  Too few young people from Lincoln seem to consider applying for medicine, and we hope we can begin to change that now.”

Dean of the Nottingham Medical School, Professor Tony Avery, said: “We are highly committed to widening participation to medical careers and have considerably expanded the opportunities for students from non-traditional backgrounds to study at our Medical School.”

The event will provide delegates with information and guidance about the admissions processes for medicine, nursing and allied health professions; advice and useful resources; interactive workshops on admissions tests, interviews, access programmes and funding; and access to experts from the universities for questions.

Attendees will also hear a personal account from a former medical student now Junior Doctor working in Lincoln County Hospital.

The conference is part of a wide range of conferences funded by the Medical Schools council that are taking place in medical schools across the UK.

Dr Paul Garrud, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, and Chair of the Selection Alliance in the Medical Schools Council, said: "Our country and our region need more doctors to serve our communities. We wish to encourage young people who might not have considered medicine before. The local medical schools now have access courses for students from disadvantaged backgrounds: come and find about what's on offer in Leicester, Lincoln, and Nottingham."

Dr Hannah Ordoyno, Widening Participation Manager at the University of Leicester, said: “Access to medicine is a core strand of our widening participation strategy because students from disadvantaged areas often dismiss the idea of a medical career. We are thrilled to be able to engage with regional teachers and advisors, provide information and support, and encourage students to make a fully informed decision about their future.”

Mr Neil Wilkinson-McKie, Headteacher at North Kesteven School said: “It has been our privilege to be working closely with our two Medical School partners and the Medical Schools Council to create and stage this fantastic event.

“For our students, their teachers and our parents it is an amazing opportunity to put together, host, provide face to face advice, guidance and support for students to enter the world of medicine. Not only does it encourage our outstanding students to aim high it also ensures that we have first-hand access and support from these universities who have been superb in their support of our students – I cannot thank them enough!

“Being the chosen partner and the fact that this is the only school based conference of its type in England demonstrates the dynamism at work here at North Kesteven School and through our innovation we are able to support other students in other settings too.”

  • Registration for the conference closes on Thursday 15 June. Places will be allocated on a first come first-served basis. This event is open to attendees from state schools only. Places can be booked at: leicesterandnottingham.eventbrite.co.uk
  • To enquire about the event: wpteam@le.ac.uk

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Morag McIvor, Senior Widening Participation Officer, on mcm30@leicester.ac.uk

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