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Medic Mentor is Committed to

Widening Access to Medical School

Widening access to medical school involves making the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented communities, lower socio-economic backgrounds, and non-traditional pathways.

Medic Mentor is a UK-based social enterprise that aims to increase the diversity and inclusivity of the medical profession by providing support and guidance to students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine.

At Medic Mentor, we have a unique stance on widening access compared with other organisations that might limit their widening access resources to a particular group of students.  We believe that widening access to medicine (WAMS or also referred to as widening participation) should mean that all students from all backgrounds have access to the same high-quality resources to help them decide on and apply for careers.  This is why we provide free places on most of our programmes to everyone, regardless of your family-income or background.  

We also appreciate that every student is different and some need more help than others.  This is not just based on widening access criteria, but also the individual. For this reason we provide students with the option of accessing ‘extra mentoring’, so that they can determine for themselves if they need additional support. Whilst extra mentoring is more labour intensive and incurs a cost, we have ensured that there are free widening access places on these programmes too.  Therefore, for the small number of ‘paid-for’ programmes that we do run, we promote equality by offering free places to those who cannot afford it, whilst also giving students who can afford them, the options of doing so in order to access additional help, if they need it.  This is very different to other organisations who focus only on a particular group of students with their widening access criteria, because they are limited by funding and therefore have to prioritise who to offer these free resources to. Even if funding everyone is the limiting factor, they will refuse to assist students who are willing to pay for themselves.  We feel that excluding any group from having access to helpful resources is not the way forward.  That is why, we have decided as an organisation to take a more inclusive stance on widening access.  

We take this approach because appreciate that there are many reasons that students might be at a disadvantage.  Students can be affected by their location in the UK, which school they go to or if they are the first in their families to attend university.  While Medic Mentor cannot help with these factors, we can at least do our best to standardise careers guidance by offering it to all students as equally as possible.  As a social enterprise, we do not receive large amounts of government funding, but our model ensures that all of the money that is raised is reinvested back into supporting widening access and wellbeing programmes that benefit everyone.  Therefore, because we are more inclusive, it has enabled us to run the largest widening access programmes in the whole country, for students applying to medicine.  We reach around 50,000 secondary school students each year.

Accessing work experience has long been a stressful process for medical applicants.  In-person placements are limited and difficult to acquire because they often have a number of restrictions such as age and distance which makes the inaccessible.  This was worsened by the pandemic because hospitals and GP practices did not accept work experience students.  During this time, Medic Mentor partnered with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to create a virtual work experience programme for our aspiring medics using their state of the art SIM suite.  Students spent 6 months attending LIVE Virtual sessions where they saw a variety of different areas in medicine and followed patients on their healthcare journeys.

Since then Health Education England completed a discovery report on virtual work placements to evaluate their effectiveness.  Medic Mentor was invited to participate in this discovery report, which ultimately concluded that virtual work experience can be as valuable as in-person experience.  The Medical Schools Council adopted this stance too, stating that they would accept virtual placements.  The excerpt below from the Medical Schools Councils’ Guidance on Work Experience Document states:

Will online experience count for my application form for UCAS?

Yes, you can use any type of experience that you have gained in your personal statement, no matter what the setting for this experience was. You can talk about the experiences you have had and the things you have learnt, about medicine as a profession and about yourself in your personal statement.

Our free virtual work experience programme is available to all students. 

 

Medic Mentor run free conferences almost every weekend across the entire year for students and their parents.  These conferences help families to learn more about what an application to medical school will entail which is an important aspect of making an informed-decision about becoming a doctor.  We have had feedback from many WAMS students that have only heard talks from speakers about what doctors do and that although these talks and experiences are inspiring, it raises their hopes without actually explaining how to get there.  Some students have felt that by doing this, they have been ‘set up to fail’.  At Medic Mentor, we are determined to help students from start to finish.  Our programmes are not just about giving students access to doctors, but also providing them with the guidance on how to tackle every aspect of their application to medical school.  The Get into Medicine Conferences is a crucial introduction to what applying to medical school will involve, how much effort and preparation is required and an opportunity to learn from successful who students and doctors about the honest approaches that they used.  These conferences are virtual, so it reduces the barriers for arranging travel to get to a venue.  We have 3 specific streams to ensure that the content is relevant to the audience.

Get into Medicine Conference: Ideal for students who have not applied to medical school yet. This is great for students in 10-13, S3-S6 or Northern Irish year 11-14 year groups.

Get into Medicine Re-application Conference: This is for students who have been unsuccessful in their first attempt at applying to medical school.  At this conference we explore all of the additional options available to secure a medical school place so that students can still pursue their dreams of becoming doctors.  It is ideal for students in 13, S6 or Northern Irish 14 year groups, or older.

Get into Medicine Conferences are open to all students and parents from any background.

The Virtual Medical Society (VMS) is a peer-mentoring programme that is led by a student committee and supported by mentors.  The VMS gives students an opportunity to take charge of their own learning and development as well as access incredible CV opportunities.  The VMS offers students the option of boosting their CVs with competitions, debates, volunteering, research and presenting opportunities.  They also form a close-knit supportive community that fosters a culture of positivity and collaboration.  The VMS is very important in empowering students to succeed together and escape much of the toxic competitiveness that typically exists among medical applicants.  They are excellent role models and mentors that support each other through the medical school application process.

Meeting take place online on Zoom webinars every Tuesday evening at 5.45pm GMT.  All students are invited!

Medic Mentor’s Medical Leadership Programme is the UK’s only medical leadership programme for secondary school students.  Students are awarded a place on this programme by applying competitively through an online application.  We have funding for 3 students from each school: 1 in year 11/S3/NI 12, 1 from year 12/S5/NI 13 and 1 from year 13/S6/NI 14.  These students have access to 3 interactive workshops (1 each term) that take place in small groups online with their own dedicated mentors.  The sessions focus on developing the skills, qualities and attributes of a future doctor as laid out by the GMC’s outcomes for medical graduates.  

Medic Mentor’s Medical Leadership Programme helps aspiring medical students develop a wide range of skills, qualities, and attributes that are essential for success in the medical profession. Some of the key skills, qualities, and attributes that students develop include:

  1. Leadership skills: The Medical Leadership programme helps students develop strong leadership skills, such as effective communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for success in a medical career, where leaders are often required to work as part of a team, make difficult decisions, and take responsibility through interactive sessions.

  2. Personal qualities: The Medical Leadership Programme help students develop personal qualities such as empathy, resilience, and compassion. These qualities are essential for building strong relationships with patients, managing the emotional demands of a medical career, and maintaining a strong commitment to patient care.
  3. Professional development: The Medical Leadership Programs also helps students develop a range of professional skills, such as effective communication with colleagues and patients, time management, and project management skills. These skills are essential for success in a medical career and can help students to become effective leaders and managers.

  4. Research skills: The Medical Leadership Programme provides students with opportunities to develop research skills, such as data analysis, critical thinking, and scientific writing. These skills are essential for success in a medical career, where evidence-based practice and research are increasingly important.

The MLP is fantastic for aspiring medical students because it prepares them for success in the medical profession, both as clinicians and as leaders.  Any student can competitively apply for the positions.

Medic Mentor is committed to promoting equality and diversity among staff mentors and students. Watch the introductory video and then start your e-learning!  You will awarded a certificate on completion to add to your application and CV.  You can access the E-learning through your free Medic Mentor Student Portal.

Firstly, we ensure that our team of mentors reflects the diversity of our student population. We actively recruit mentors from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and we value the unique perspectives and insights that they bring to our programmes. We also provide ongoing training and support to our mentors to ensure that they are equipped to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds.

Secondly, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind, and we have policies and procedures in place to address any such incidents that may occur. We also provide support and resources to students who may be facing challenges related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Thirdly, we work to promote diversity and inclusivity in our programmes and events. For example, we ensure that our speakers and workshop leaders come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and we actively seek out perspectives and insights that may not be represented in traditional medical education. We also incorporate topics related to diversity and inclusion into our programmes to raise awareness and promote understanding among our students.

We believe that creating an inclusive environment is essential to achieving our mission of supporting and inspiring the next generation of medical professionals

The Summer School offers additional mentoring for students who feel that they might need extra help with their applications.  It is a comprehensive mentoring programme that supports students, families and their teachers at every single stage of the application process.  Students receive personal mentoring on an unlimited basis for each component of the application.  The Summer School includes an optional residential component that lasts 4-5 days but this can also be delivered virtually.  It is a year-long mentoring programme that includes support for personal statements, UCAT, BMAT, interviews, supplementary questionnaires (where needed), strategically deciding which medical schools to apply to, teachers references, access to scholarships to study medicine at university.

This is a resource intensive programme with significant overheads and logistical co-ordination that involves 1000s of doctors and medical students.  Therefore, there is a cost associated for this programme for students to attend.  If there are students from low-income backgrounds who would like to attend but cannot afford to do so, they are welcome to apply for our funded summer school places that become available in January each year.  

As a non-profit social enterprise, Medic Mentor reinvest all of the proceeds raised from our programmes back into support our students applying for medicine.  We do this primarily in 3 ways:

  1. We run the UK’s largest medical students scholarship programme.  These are academic awards worth up to £12,000 across an individual’s 6 year medical degree.  In addition to the financial help provided through these awards, our medical students receive additional wellbeing and mentoring support throughout medical school, so that they can make the most of the experience and ensure that they are well prepared for working as a doctor. These are merit-based awards made to applying students at the end of their school years (during the summer when they receive their final results).  Students are selected on how pro-active they have been as Medic Mentor students.
  2. We run the largest widening access programmes for aspiring medical students in the country.  We teach 50,000 students between 10-13/S3-S6/NI 11-14 year groups.  Our criteria to include students in most of our programmes is to expand our reach to everyone. Therefore we do not differentiate between student backgrounds, schools that they attend, or whether they are UK residents.  We aim to be as inclusive as possible.
  3. We invest heavily in our widening access students to enrol onto Medic Mentor programmes for extra mentoring that involves an extra cost.  Where there are costs associated with additional mentoring, we ensure that a number of places are reserved for students from low-income backgrounds.  This diversifies our future doctor cohort to promote the recruitment of doctors that are reflective of our diverse patient population.

What is Study Mentor?

  • Study Mentor is a brand new programme offered by medic mentor which delivers A level tutoring to students across the UK.
  • This is a key widening access initiative where we have offered free access to all tutorials to disadvantaged students.

Please direct all your widening access students to our online registration form 

 

Why is

Widening Access to Medicine Important?

Widening access to medical school is important because it can help to address the underrepresentation of certain groups in the medical profession, as well as ensure that the medical workforce is more representative of the communities it serves. This, in turn, can help to improve health outcomes for diverse populations and reduce health disparities.

The effectiveness of widening access to medicine programmes can be difficult to measure definitively, as it often takes several years to see significant changes in the demographics of medical school applicants and students. However, there is evidence to suggest that current widening access to medicine programmes are having a positive impact.

For example, in the United Kingdom, the number of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and underrepresented groups, such as Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) students, entering medical school has increased in recent years. According to data from the Medical Schools Council, the percentage of UK medical students from lower socio-economic backgrounds increased from 7.6% in 2014 to 10.2% in 2019, and the percentage of BAME students increased from 22.9% in 2014 to 28.8% in 2019.

However, while these programs are making progress, there is still more work to be done to ensure that medical schools are truly representative of the communities they serve. Ongoing efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in medical education are necessary to address the persistent inequalities that exist in the healthcare system.

Medic Mentor helps to widen access to medicine by providing support and resources to students from diverse backgrounds who may face barriers to entering the medical profession. By offering outreach programs, admissions support, scholarships and bursaries, and mentorship opportunities, Medic Mentor is helping to create a more diverse and inclusive medical workforce that better reflects the needs and experiences of the communities it serves.

Real Doctors. Real Students. Real Success Stories

We teach 50,000 students every year and our authenticity policy mandates us to abide by the GMC’s professional code of conduct: honesty, integrity, respect and politeness.  All photos and stories are of real people. We will never engage with false or paid for reviews on third-party review platforms.  To learn more about our authenticity policy click here.

Widening Access to Medicine Programmes

Expanded Overview of Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) Programmes

Embarking on a journey to a career in medicine can be a challenging yet rewarding path, especially for students from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. Recognising this, several UK medical schools have established specific Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) Programmes. These programmes are tailored to break down barriers and create more inclusive pathways into the medical profession. In this expanded overview, we delve into the nuances of various WAM Programmes, highlighting their unique features, eligibility criteria, and focus areas. From programmes targeting specific regional backgrounds to specific WAMs criteria, each WAM initiative aims to level the playing field and foster a diverse and representative medical workforce.

Foundation and Gateway to Medicine programmes are designed to widen access to medical education, catering to students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. These programmes often accept students based on specific criteria, particularly focusing on those from underrepresented socio-economic or regional backgrounds.

  • Regional or Socio-Economic Focus Targeting Underrepresented Backgrounds:: Certain programmes are tailored to students from specific regions or socio-economic backgrounds. These programmes specifically aim to support students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the medical field. These programmes aim to address the imbalance in medical education access and often come with adjusted entry requirements, such as reduced A-Level grades or UCAT scores, to level the playing field.
  • Dedicated Foundation Years for Mature Students or Specific Regions: Some programmes offer a dedicated foundation year, focusing on mature students or those from particular regions. These foundation years provide an additional year of study to prepare students for the standard medical course. The entry requirements for these programmes may be different, often considering the life experiences and potential of applicants rather than just academic achievements.

In all cases, these programmes are designed to provide equitable access to medical education, acknowledging that traditional entry criteria do not always fairly represent the potential of all students. By keeping spaces available to underrepresented groups, and in some cases offering reduced offers,  be it in A-Level grades, UCAT scores, or other entrance exams, these programmes aim to balance the playing field, ensuring that talent and potential from all sectors of society are recognized and nurtured in the field of medicine.

Medic Mentor Scholars

WAMs Criteria

  • Regional or Socio-Economic Focus Targeting Underrepresented Backgrounds:: Certain programmes are tailored to students from specific regions or socio-economic backgrounds. These programmes specifically aim to support students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the medical field. These programmes aim to address the imbalance in medical education access and often come with adjusted entry requirements, such as reduced A-Level grades or UCAT scores, to level the playing field.
  • Dedicated Foundation Years for Mature Students or Specific Regions: Some programmes offer a dedicated foundation year, focusing on mature students or those from particular regions. These foundation years provide an additional year of study to prepare students for the standard medical course. The entry requirements for these programmes may be different, often considering the life experiences and potential of applicants rather than just academic achievements.

Widening Access programmes

Programmes include:

Gateway programmes at Aberdeen, Bristol, Dundee, East Anglia, Edge Hill, Hull/York

Foundation Programmes at Keele, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth and UCLAN

Transfer Opportunities to Medicine Courses: For students pursuing degrees in Biomedical Sciences or similar fields at certain universities, there are unique opportunities to transfer to Medicine courses. However, it’s important to note that not all universities offer this option, and specific courses are required for eligibility. Students should verify the particular requirements of each university’s transfer scheme to determine their eligibility.

Transfer Opportunities at Various Universities:

  1. Anglia Ruskin University: Offers a transfer scheme for high-achieving students in BSc Medical Science, BSc Biomedical Science, or BOptom Optometry.
  2. Bradford University: Facilitates transfers to Medicine at Sheffield University for students completing specific courses at Bradford.
  3. Brighton University: Brighton and Sussex Medical School has a scheme for Biomedical, Biological, and Pharmacy students to transfer to Medicine.
  4. Cardiff University: Reserves Medicine places for graduates of certain three-year degrees from recognized feeder streams.
  5. Exeter University: Allows BSc Medical Sciences and BSc Neuroscience students to apply for Medicine in their final year, subject to specific academic criteria.
  6. Leicester University: Offers transfer opportunities from various science-related degrees to their Medicine course.
  7. Newcastle University: Has a formal transfer scheme from certain Bioscience degrees to Medicine.
  8. Plymouth University: Provides two routes for transferring to Medicine and Dentistry from Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences.
  9. Queen Mary, University of London: Offers interviews for Medicine to high-ranking students in specific science programs.
  10. Sheffield Hallam University: Facilitates transfers to Medicine at Sheffield University for students completing specific courses at Sheffield Hallam.
  11. Sussex University: Has a guaranteed interview scheme for Medicine for Biomedical Science or Medical Neuroscience students.

International Transfer Options: Some universities outside the UK also provide transfer schemes for Medicine. These include universities in Nicosia, Humanitas, and AUC, each with their specific requirements.

Prospective students should always confirm the latest information directly with the universities, as these schemes can be highly competitive and subject to change.

Finding Additional Programmes and Tips for Prospective Students:

Tips for Prospective WAM Students:

  • Educational Guides and Professional Bodies: Utilise resources like UCAS, GMC, and the Medical Schools Council.
  • Medical School Fairs and Events: For first-hand information from university representatives.
Let's Get that Medical School

APPLICATION SORTED

Medic Mentor is an all-in-one solution to your medical school application.  We bring only the best resources for tackling every single component of your medical school application to one place.  We are here to help you work efficiently, by balancing the UCAS application process alongside your school work and extracurricular activities.  One of the best ways to save you time is to direct you to the best advice and resources so that you do not have to waste time searching for them yourselves.

We know what you are going through, as doctors and medical students who were in your position!  By combining application knowledge, extracurricular opportunities, platforms to up-skill and boost confidence, it is not a surprise that Medic Mentor students are successful.  Will it be difficult? Yes, applying to medical school is not easy.  But through Medic Mentor it will be less stressful, and even fun.  Let’s get started!

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