My name is Erin McGee (second on the left), and I am a new S6 at St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School. Over the past year, medic mentor has provided me with so many excellent opportunities which have helped my growth, not just as an aspiring medic, but as a person. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a school ambassador this year and hope to continue the programme next year too.
My Medic Mentor journey began last September when Dr Siva visited our school. From there I heard about the medical leadership programme and immediately applied for a school ambassador position. I attended the school ambassador meetings at Stirling university and the experience has helped me gain so many new skills and meet many new friends.
At the first meeting I was able to develop valuable presentation skills and get feedback on my presentation from the fantastic mentors. Initially, I was slightly nervous to present in front of a group of people I had never met, but everyone was so kind and welcoming that I soon forgot my worries and was able to deliver my presentation well. From this, my confidence has been significantly boosted and I would now feel comfortable delivering a presentation to anyone. I feel as though this is a key skill to be able to have because as a doctor presenting research is a vital part of the job. The second part of the day was spent in small groups, collaborating our ideas to produce a presentation on an ethical scenario. Throughout this, I was able to enhance my teamwork skills as we all had to work well together to ensure we got the work done in the limited time-frame we had. I was also able to improve my knowledge of medical ethics which is extremely important, and I learned how to apply the four pillars into a real-life scenario which is a very valuable skill to have gained. Overall, the first day of the medical leadership programme was excellent, it allowed me to make many new friends and helped me improve my communication skills; to be able to work effectively with others and listen to their views and opinions on ethical matters.
Recently, I took part in the COVID-19 Innovation programme, which served as a substitute for the final day of the medical leadership programme. This was an excellent virtual experience which allowed me to interact with fellow aspiring medics and students from all over the UK. Throughout the week, I completed many amazing tasks which ultimately helped in the culmination of an informative group poster presentation. My group and I had to carry out research on the cessation of medical education during the current global pandemic and we had to critically appraise sources of information to see if they were reputable or not. This was something completely new to me, but with the help of my group’s facilitator and my team, we were able to work through the research and take the correct steps to critically appraise our research. Due to this, I now feel as though I can confidently critically appraise an article or piece of research, which is a vital skill for medicine. Additionally, we had to complete a structured debate, which is something I did not have much experience in before; however, I managed to do it well, with my group winning, and I now feel able to fully argue my points and opinions well. Effective time management was also key, due to the fact that we had to meet a very strict deadline and had a lot to work through in the short time period we had. However, we managed to successfully get all the work done and through this I am now able to manage my time more effectively. Despite feeling extremely nervous before the programme commenced, I loved every minute of it, especially working with my team and we were all able to communicate and collaborate well together to produce an excellent presentation that we were all proud of.
As part of my role as a school ambassador, I helped to form our school’s medic society, with a few other pupils. In school we meet weekly and work through the medic mentor study guides which are extremely useful for group tasks, giving us an idea of how to approach PBL cases and ethical scenarios. Additionally, after attending the national healthcare weekend in September, a few of my friends and I who attended the conference, (see above photo) presented what we had learned to other pupils interested in medicine.
So far, my experience with medic mentor has been great. I have gained so many new skills and have become more confident in presenting and working with new people. From being a school ambassador this year, I have further consolidated my passion for wanting to study medicine and I am excited to see what the future brings. Thank you, Medic Mentor, for all of your support and for putting so much time and effort into helping us aspiring medics!
Written By Erin McGee