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MEET THE TEAM – Zoe Hinchcliffe

YOUR MEDIC FAMILY
July 14, 2020

My name is Zoe, and I’m currently a fourth-year medical student at Cardiff University. I am originally from the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales where I attended Ysgol David Hughes Sixth Form.

At A Level, I studied Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and the Welsh Baccalaureate with additional AS Levels in Physics and History.

I would consider myself to be a hardworking student, striving to excel within all academic and clinical aspects of my degree. In years 1-3, I have been a recipient of multiple Merit Awards for my academic performance in exams and coursework. I was also awarded the Dean of Medical Education Special Award in 2018 for my contributions to NHS Wales and teaching within the university. With an active interest in medical research, I have contributed to multiple national audits, including the STARSurg ‘RECON’ Audit and The Sepsis Study. My own 3rd year research project was nominated for the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (ASGBI) Short Paper Prize at the International Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) Conference 2020, where I presented my work to a large audience of eminent clinicians and published my abstract in the British Journal of Surgery.

My current interests and career aspirations lie within Surgery and Emergency Medicine. This stems from my love for fast-paced, hands-on patient care, which I have observed in my work as an Emergency Department Clinical Assistant and a Community First Responder for the Welsh Ambulance Service. I have been selected for a competitive intercalated degree next academic year in ‘Emergency, Pre-Hospital and Immediate Care’ (EPIC), which will allow me to explore these interests more deeply and learn new clinical skills above the standard expected of medical students.

Outside of medicine I have a passion for music and enjoy collecting vinyl records. I presented a regular documentary-style radio show about my favourite band, The Beatles, in 2015-16 focussing on the progression of their music over time. I still present weekly on the same radio station, Môn FM, now bringing a wider variety of music and topical issues to my audience. I am also a founder and lead volunteer of a non-profitable children’s charity, ‘Make a Smile’, that currently has over 100 volunteers that visit hospital wards and hospices dressed as well-known children’s characters. In 2018, I spent 3 weeks volunteering at a hospice summer camp in Belarus for children with life-limiting disabilities: an incredibly challenging role, providing 24-hour care to Russian-only speaking children with complex needs.

Before applying to medical school, I had very little understanding of how much extra work was really needed to produce a competitive application. This lack of direction meant that I had to independently find my own resources and experiences to meet the requirements and receive successful offers: this was incredibly challenging to balance with my studies. I was first introduced to Medic Mentor during my first year of university, after navigating my way through the application process alone with no medics in my family for reference and guidance. In retrospect, as I enter my second year on the Scholarship Programme, I now understand how important the work offered by Medic Mentor is to aspiring medical students. The access they provide to doctors and current medical students ensures that students who come from families without a medical background are not disadvantaged during the application process.

Having worked in countless clinical settings, I am aware of the importance of having a diverse team, and so I strive to help people of all backgrounds in their application to medical school. Modern medicine requires collaboration of the best minds, and I strongly believe that a lack of previous medical study in the family should never be a barrier to this. Medic Mentor has given me the ability to help to ensure that the NHS does not miss out on key talent of the future, in addition to the opportunity to develop countless new transferable skills of my own.

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