Areyou a medic in the making?

Every year over 700 students in Scotland take their first steps towards becoming doctors as they start medical degrees at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow or St Andrews University.

After graduating many will join the two year Foundation Training Programme during which they will be awarded registration to practice with the General Medical Council. Over the course of the two years these young graduates will spend time working in a number of medical and surgical specialities.

A career in medicine opens up a world of opportunities to those who make the grade but how do you know if this is the path for you? People with a doctor in the family often have a head start because they are already aware of the challenges they will face. But what if you don’t have that prior knowledge?

A spokesperson for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “At NHS Dumfries and Galloway we want to make sure that the brightest students from all backgrounds get the chance to see what medicine is all about and to find out if that’s where their future lies. Our one week work experience programme is open to school pupils entering S5 and is designed to give a practical insight into the day to day working lives of doctors and other medical professionals.”

Dr Jean Robson is the Director of Medical Education at NHS Dumfries and Galloway and she oversees the work experience programme.

Dr Robson said: “Medicine is a challenging, but hugely rewarding career and those who choose to join the profession can gain access to wonderful opportunities.

“All too often young people who follow this path come from medical families and we want to encourage school pupils from all backgrounds and all parts of the region to consider medicine as a career option. Our week long work experience programme offers pupils the opportunity to spend time observing and talking to medical professionals in clinics, laboratories and wards.

“Those taking part are encouraged to reflect on what they have learned and consider what they need to think about if they decide to apply for a place on a medical degree. The standards are high and competition is fierce and this programme is designed to get pupils thinking about whether or not medicine is for them and how to progress their application.”

To find out more about the NHS Dumfries and Galloway work experience programme please speak to your school’s work experience advisor or contact the Education Centre by phone on 01387 241 524 or by email at dg.educationcentre@nhs.net.

Alternatively pupils can also come along to the Scottish Medical Careers Fair on Saturday 12 September at the SECC in Glasgow where NHS Dumfries and Galloway will have a stand. Places are free but limited. To find out more and register for your place please visit the website at http://www.scotmt.scot.nhs.uk/.