This past year has again seen a wide range of speakers address MedSoc. From research-based careers to hands-on sessions, every talk further demonstrated the variety in a medical career, never failing to motivate the new batch of aspiring medics.
The year started with a talk from OEs Claudia Tam and Ben Atherton. Hearing students who are currently studying medicine at university speak about their successful experience through the gruelling UCAS process certainly motivated the Lower and Upper Sixth members. The rest of the year was equally as inspiring, and listening to speakers from diverse medical backgrounds continued to stimulate members of MedSoc.
Whilst we saw some familiar faces from previous years, like A&E consultant Diana Hulbert and Professor Deborah Mackay, both of whom delivered fascinating talks, the past terms have seen some new speakers give a fresh perspective on medicine. Some of the most notable included Dr Robert Wheeler and Dr Jon Rachman.
Experienced paediatric and neonatal surgeon, Dr Wheeler gave an in-depth talk about medical law and ethics. This gave members a great insight into a very important aspect of medicine, and knowing about principles such as Gillick competency and candour proved invaluable for medical school interviews. Dr Wheeler expertly used examples of cases he had come across whilst studying for his law degree and his experience as a doctor, to demonstrate these medical ethical principles further and this really helped the members to grasp the concepts more effectively.
Another thought-provoking talk came from Dr Rachman, a specialist in diabetes and a senior research fellow at Oxford University. Beginning with a background of his early life in South Africa, and demonstrating his own pathway into medicine, inspired many at the talk to certainty on a medical application. Dr Rachman then continued to discuss his career and interactions with the pharmaceutical industry and specifically the new development of diabetes drugs. Dr Rachman revealed there were now drugs that encourage weight loss whilst still maintaining blood sugar levels. GLP-1 can, with an active weight loss lifestyle in conjunction with the drug, lead to six to nine pounds of weight loss, a remarkable figure. As drug development progresses and medical techniques advance, one may ponder the future of medicine and potential applicants will certainly consider their place in this future.
MedSoc also had the opportunity to attend a ‘School for Surgery’ day at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Students attended various workstations, which allowed them to insert a needle into the vein of model dummies, practise keyhole surgery using actual instruments, learn how to hold a needle and stitch safely, resuscitate a person and also learn how to interpret x-rays and CTs like a radiologist. Alongside this learning, students were able to speak to medical students and junior doctors to understand what life is like when training and working in the medical profession.
Last year, in preparation for Section 3 of the challenging BMAT, MedSoc ran a number of essay workshops. Often students who are inclined to a career in medicine decide on science based A Levels and by the time of the BMAT, many students feel underprepared for the essay writing section. Despite both the BMAT and the UCAT examinations evaluating a skill set outside of the A Level curriculum, thorough preparation can ensure good scores and support a candidate’s application.
In the final weeks before the application deadline, more support sessions for the BMAT and Medical Interview Days saw the Lower Sixth safely through their UCAS process. Next year, MedSoc will be back with more talks in the same vein to help and encourage any future medics. Our thanks to Mrs Millar for running the society and for helping to prepare aspiring medics for the medical application process.
Raul Patel and Harmeena Sekhon