So you want to be a… Medic?

On the 22nd October, RSA Academies and Black Country Careers Hub hosted a special careers workshop for pupils from RSA Academy and Holyhead School, as well as 14 wider schools across the Black Country. The workshop provided over 100 pupils from across Year 9 – 12 with an opportunity to gain new insight into careers in medicine and other healthcare professions.

The workshop was delivered by The Medic Portal and facilitated by a final year medical student from King’s College London. Through the workshop, pupils learnt about the history of medicine and the role of doctors. There was also time dedicated to offering valuable information on the different medical teams and allied healthcare professions involved in patient treatment. Pupils learnt about the differences between these roles and varied skillset needed for each.

Pupils were given key information as to what subjects and grades each UK medical school looked for. They also learnt about the different routes and course structures might be best for them before moving on to look at personal statement top tips. Being only a few years older than the pupils themselves, the facilitator was able to easily relate her own experiences of finding work placements, admissions tests, and university interviews with the pupils.

Pupils also had the opportunity to hear from Dr Mitesh Patel from the University of Wolverhampton who explained more about the foundation and graduate-entry courses available in the West Midlands. Doctors are in particular demand in the West Midlands. A census carried out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) found that the West Midlands has one of the highest numbers of patients per senior doctor in the UK. Simply there aren’t enough doctors to tackle patients’ needs in these areas which is why we need to nurture career interests from an early age, particularly in these areas.

After lunch, pupils were then challenged to consider a medical case as part of a problem-based learning scenario. Pupils had to work in small groups to decide which healthcare teams they might need to consult and what sort of exam they would need to conduct. Pupils were shown how to conduct a chest exam and then practised on each other. Finally, pupils had to diagnose their patients and come up with a treatment plan. All of this proved to be an exciting and challenging exercise as part of the peer-to-peer-based learning and critical thinking that would be expected of them as a junior doctor working in a hospital environment.

We are grateful to the Black Country Careers Hub for helping to support this workshop.

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‘So you want to be a…’ Careers Series

The workshop marked the first workshop in a new career series for RSA Academies called ‘So you want to be…’

Evidence shows how important it is for students to start gaining career insight from an early age. Recent research by the charity Education and Employers highlighted that for each careers activities involving an outside speaker that pupils experienced between the ages of 14-15, there were marked benefits to their personal pathway planning and increased early career wages in the future.

These encounters are particularly important to pupils who may not have the same connections to career role models as their more advantaged peers.‘Socially privileged’ children of doctors are 24 times more likely to go into the same profession as their parents than their less advantaged peers. Reports from the Sutton Trust ‘Leading People’ (2016) and ‘Elitist Britain’ (2019) also show that professions such as medicine continue to be disproportionality populated by those privately educated, with nearly two-thirds of top doctors educated at independent schools.

The aim of the series for RSA Academies is to inspire and support students to explore a range of different career interests and build essential knowledge around these career paths. We will enable learners to make informed decisions about their future career and further study options at key milestones in their school journey.

Related project: Careers Workshops: ‘So you want to be a…’