The Medical Specialist Group’s bursary scheme will be returning this year, supporting the island’s next generation of doctors to pursue a career in medicine.
It has been eight years since the bursary last ran, due to the funds being redirected to support the Health and Social Care (HSC) nursing bursary scheme, which aimed to boost the number of nurses on the island at the time.
The scheme will give one student a two-thousand-pound annual bursary for up to five years while they are at medical school. The recipient will also be offered any temporary roles the Medical Specialist Group (MSG) has available during university holidays, providing the chance to get hands-on experience working within a medical practice, and to meet and collaborate with existing MSG consultants.
The last recipient back in 2015 was Anna Ogier (pictured) who is now a qualified foundation year two (F2) doctor working at Kingston Hospital in Surrey, currently on a general medicine and acute medicine rotation. Anna completed her Bachelor of Medicine, with an intercalated year to complete a research project, at Bristol University.
Anna said: “I really valued the support I received from the MSG throughout my degree. Having financial aid took the pressure off during term time and allowed me to focus my attention on my studies and immerse myself in university life. I was able to get involved in valuable extra-curricular activities, like becoming a committee member of the Global Health Society – an area of medicine I am very interested in. It also allowed me to come back to Guernsey more often to see my friends and family. So economically it was invaluable.
“But on top of the financial support, it helped me link up with the MSG and build my network with local professionals. This ultimately led me to get involved in summer work with the Group, working on projects alongside some amazing consultants. It was great experience for me; over the years I supported on several audits from patient confidentiality to paediatric presentations, and emergency laparotomy surgery, and even presented the findings at a national conference.”
Asked about her plans for the future, Anna said: “I’m open minded about what I specialise in. I’m currently interested in sexual health and global health, but for now I’m enjoying my rotations and exploring the different areas. I would love to come back to Guernsey to work at some point so really value the insight into the local healthcare system that the MSG bursary has provided me. I would absolutely recommend the bursary to anyone applying to medical school.”
Chair of the MSG, Steve Evans, said: “We’re really excited to be relaunching the bursary. We’re passionate about our discipline and want to encourage and empower young people to pursue this highly rewarding and valuable career. We’re invested in future-proofing our island’s medical services and feel the scheme is a great way to support and keep in touch with the next generation of consultants, so we can continue to provide clinical excellence for our patients for years to come.”
To apply, students will be required to submit a 1,000-word essay outlining their career aspirations and how they would use the money from the bursary. The applications will be reviewed by a panel of MSG professionals, who will draw up a shortlist and conduct interviews before selecting a winner. Applications will open on 1 June for two months, with the interviews taking place in August.
The scheme is open to any Bailiwick student who is not a dependant of a current MSG consultant and who has applied to start at a UK medical school from the 2023 autumn term.