Hi everyone I’m Finlay. I’m an aspiring medical student from Aberdeen, and have accepted an offer for Medicine from Dundee University. When I first decided I wanted to study medicine, I didn’t really know enough about what the profession even involved, never mind how competitive it was or what the application was like. I had no doctors and very few healthcare staff in general in my family, so I didn’t really know where to look for reliable information until I found Medic Mentor.
Luckily for me, a medic society was started at my school, which told me and many others about what Medic Mentor is, and what they can do to help people who really want to do medicine. To be honest, I was pretty sceptical at first but when I really thought about what a big help this could be to me, I decided to attend the Get into Medicine Conference in Stirling. To cut a long story short, I was sold: I’d never heard so much information about medicine and never seen so many like-minded people who wanted to study medicine, in the same place. Most importantly, I was amazed by the hugely positive atmosphere, and the motivation which I found in everything we were told. After this, I knew more than ever that getting into medical school would be a tough goal to achieve, but I was also more ready than I had ever been. I went home from that conference with a wave of new energy and commitment, and tried to embrace every opportunity that was available to me.
With the guidance I had been given from the national healthcare weekend, I found myself more work experience, more volunteering opportunities, and more ways in which I could challenge myself to be more ready for applying to medicine. I applied to the Medic Mentor Medical Leadership Programme, and booked a place on the Medic Mentor Summer School. The last year before I applied was no doubt the busiest year of my life so far, but by the end of it, I felt genuinely ready to apply to med school. I had been at Medical Leadership meetings where I had met people who seemed vastly more prepared than me, and it had given me the drive to aspire to be one of these people. I went back to the Get into Medicine Conference, this time as a speaker, doing a presentation on my journey towards medicine so far, and realised how far I had come in being prepared for medicine- I was able to give the people at the conference tips, advice and information which would help them to prepare, and hopefully give them the motivation I had been given to really work for my application.
Of course, I still didn’t know if I would be successful or not. All I knew was that I had prepared in the best way I possibly could- I’d run through mock interviews, redrafted my personal statement more times than I could count, and practised more for the UCAT than I would have thought possible beforehand. Ultimately the most important thing once you’re applying- once all the work, the practice and in some cases the slog is out of the way- the only thing left is to be confident in yourself. This for me, was where Medic Mentor was essential. Maybe I could have worked through all the steps of my application alone, though I certainly benefitted from Medic Mentor’s advice; but it was only through having a network of friends and peers who I knew were going through the same journey as me that I became confident that I would succeed. I had learnt a great deal not just from being taught how to write a good personal statement, or talk a good line in interview, but also from passing this on to other people, those who had not had the privilege of Medic Mentor’s guidance.
If there was one thing I think it’s important for people to realise, I would say that it’s never too late to try- I was personally very late in coming to Medic Mentor, but with their help I was able to do everything I needed to do before I applied, and ultimately I made my dream of going to medical school. I got 4 of my medical school offers.