Sixth form students from this year’s ‘Taste of medicine’ course, run by the Medical Specialist Group, got back together yesterday evening with MSG doctors to give their feedback and to get advice on their applications to medical school.
The unique course is run every year by the MSG to give sixth formers interested in studying medicine first-hand experience of a range of specialties.
Course leader and consultant paediatrician Dr Clare Betteridge says: “We are very proud of this course which has inspired and supported dozens of young islanders over the years to successfully apply for medical school. There is no other course in the UK like it as far as I am aware in terms of the range of experience that we provide at no cost to the student.”
She told the students: “You are our future. We hope you really enjoyed the course, we wish you every success in your medical career and we very much hope that ultimately you will come back and work with us on the island. We’re keen to get your feedback on how we can make the course even better and we are here to support you in any way we can during your journey into medicine.”
The course is run twice during the summer term to fit in with the different work experience weeks of the Colleges and the Sixth Form Centre. Students are paired up and over the course of the week they attend ten different sessions covering specialties such as surgery, the emergency department, adult medicine, paediatrics, oncology, obstetrics and gynaecology. This year a dozen students took part, of whom seven were able to attend the reunion.
Dr Betteridge says, “We aim to make each session as interesting and hands-on as possible. For example, when one of the students was with me in the special care baby unit, he helped out by dropping sugar solution into a baby’s mouth while I took bloods.”
Joining Dr Betteridge were consultant physician Dr Steve Evans and consultant paediatrician Dr Claudia Rettberg, who both took part in the course, and two recently appointed consultants, paediatrician Dr Sarra Ahmed, and obstetrician and gynaecologist Miss Lauren Green, who is herself a former Ladies’ College pupil.
Rhianna Trump from the Grammar School is applying to several medical schools, with Bristol and Liverpool her two favourites. She said, “A teacher told me a few years ago she could see me becoming a doctor one day. I have always been really interested in science and I am also really interested in people so it felt like absolutely the right career for me. I was thinking of general practice but the Taste of medicine course has opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in hospital medicine.”
Ellie Dufty from Ladies’ College said, “None of my family are from a medical background but I’ve wanted to be a doctor for most of my life.
“The Taste of medicine course was amazing. I got to see so much. Surgery was my favourite. I got to see a hip replacement, a toe fusion and a bowel operation. It was great how the doctors would take the time to explain what they were doing in detail. It was so engaging and inspiring. It made a massive difference to my personal statement in my university application that I had real life experience to talk about.”
Main image shows, from left to right: Jade Hockey from Blanchelande College; Rhianna Trump, Chloe Le Page, and Sam Bourgaize from the Grammar School Sixth Form Centre; Christina Salisbury from Blanchelande College; Nicole Barnes and Ellie Dufty from Ladies’ College.