Dr Muhammad Khan, co-founder of an award-winning children’s social initiative project, gave Blue Coat Sixth Form students an inspirational talk that included practical advice about applying to medical school and the basic questions they all should consider first.
Thanks to support from the Development Fund our medical school applicants now have access to a fantastic valuable resource, Health Careers Passports, a quick reference and portfolio tracker.
Dr Khan, an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow, based at Aintree University Hospital Clinical Radiology Department, told students: “You must ask yourselves what makes you suitable for a medical career? What relevant skills and achievements do you have? What are your career insights and future plans? It’s not enough to have done Duke of Edinburgh Award. Ask what you learned and how you can explain its relevance to an interview panel.”
Last year the 37 UK medical schools received 20,730 applications for 7,000 places. Candidates have four choices only and can apply to either Oxford or Cambridge (but not both) by the UCAS submission date of 15 October, 2019.
Dr Khan said: “It is essential to stand out, especially in your 500 word personal statement. Recently, I re-read my mine and it made me cringe – I probably wouldn’t get in now. I wrote that having my appendix out at Alder Hey when I was 12 made me want to be a doctor and I still have the scar!
“Work experience and volunteering is the only way to demonstrate that you have the skills and attributes of a health care professional. It’s a case of quality over quantity, but two weeks should be your minimum experience.
Dr Khan stressed to students that “your first attempt to get into medical school might not be successful, but if it’s your ambition keep trying.”
Ms O’Rourke, Key 5 Stage Leader, who hosted the talk, said: “The worst thing is that students don’t plan their time. A deadline of 15 October 2019 means that our students should have their application structured months ahead, not at the last minute.”