Aspiring sixth-form doctors get head start from Imperial students

Year 13 pupils who want to study medicine have been helped on their way by Imperial students when ICSMSU Vision, the medical outreach society, held its annual senior conference on Sunday 20 September.

Aimed at sixth-form students from state schools, the conference sought to give a helping hand to medicine applicants from less-advantaged backgrounds. The day provided the 96 delegates with lectures, one-to-one mock interviews and a personal statement workshop.

The annual event, now in its fifth year, was organised by ICSMSU Vision—founded by Imperial students in 2007 to educate and inspire school and college students from all backgrounds about a career in medicine.

“This event gives underprivileged students a better chance to get into medical school,” said lead organising student Shivam Patel. “Medical school entry is incredibly difficult, and comprehensive school pupils are very under-represented in our cohort.”

The conference was for students committed to submitting a UCAS application in October 2015 and individual mock interviews and personal statement workshops were given by medical students, practising doctors and those who have sat on an Imperial College School of Medicine interview panel for an authentic insight.

As well as workshops, eminent physicians and surgeons Mr P. Paraskevas and Dr Joanne Harris gave lectures on life as a surgeon and medical school interviews. This year’s closing speech was delivered by Professor Lord Winston.

Each delegate received written feedback on their personal statement suggesting any areas for improvement, and also attended sessions on ethics, BMAT and UKCAT.

A delegate commented during the event: “Thank you so much, we don’t get this help in school and I really have no other chance to have a mock interview.”

“The success of this event is a result of months of preparation,” said ICSMSU President Maredudd Harris. “It is clear from the delegates’ experiences that it has been worth the hard work. Vision should be very proud of the work it does.”

“I’m hugely proud of our students for initiating and delivering such an outstanding event that mentors our next generation of doctors,” added Martin Lupton, Head of the Undergraduate School of Medicine.

“Like ICSMSU Vision, I believe that doctors should be representative of the communities they serve and our school strategy recognises this need for a diverse workforce. Outreach activities like this conference help ensure that entry to medical school is inclusive to applicants of all backgrounds and life experiences.”

Bookings for the senior conference next year will open in June 2016. More information can be found at the ICSMSU Vision website.

Ben Campion
Communications Manager
Imperial College School of Medicine

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