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SMF Medicine Residential: “It was the one week that I didn’t mind waking up as early as 5:45!”

For the very first time, in July this year the SMF hosted students on a residential outside of London. On the 2017 SMF Medicine Residential funded by Health Education England, 59 SMF students from 46 local authorities across the UK spent one week at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. This made James Cook University Hospital one of the first hospitals in the UK to host a residential course for future doctors from low-income backgrounds. With only 4% of doctors in the UK coming from a working class background, this is a vital initiative.

The 16 and 17-year-old students stayed in the hospital residence and had the fantastic opportunity to make use of the high-tech educational equipment at the university hospital’s Institute of Learning, Research and Innovation, including life-like patient simulation training.

Every day of the residential was filled with exceptional opportunities and experiences for our aspiring medics. 50 consultants, doctors, and GPs were involved in delivering the one-of-a-kind programme. SMF students witnessed two live video links to operating theatres, attended medical lectures, and discussed their career aspirations with consultants from 15 different specialities during a career carousel. The students’ manual dexterity was also challenged during clinical skills workshops where the students undertook cardiovascular examinations, the application of casts, laparoscopy, eye examinations, basic life support, and paediatric simulation.

“Attending the residential has strengthened my desire to study Medicine to a whole new level!”

The residential week culminated with a visit to the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University. The SMF group received useful information about applications to medical school and the UKCAT and BMAT admissions tests. The students then had the opportunity to practise admission interviews before exploring Newcastle University on a campus tour.

The evenings were filled with a mix of skills sessions where the students worked on their public speaking skills and learnt how to create a competitive personal statement, and fun activities like mini-golf and bowling.

A highlight of the week was a visit from the BBC, ITV, and BBC radio who interviewed SMF students and featured the SMF Medicine Residential in the local news!

The opportunity to meet professionals, gain insight into the medical sector, and witness the day-to-day life in a hospital are ones that our aspiring medics would not be able to secure without the help of SMF supporters. We extend our huge thanks to the team at James Cook University Hospital for all of the work that went in to the week.

The SMF Medicine Residential was invaluable work experience, which I would have never gotten from any other organisation around.”

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