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THE JUNE MEDICAL

APPLICANT
CHALLENGE

Super-curricular exercises to support your Medicine


application

WE ARE MEDICS
Introduction
Welcome!

We hope this June challenge keeps you engaged and


learning throughout lockdown!

By the end of it, you should have a better


understanding of Medicine as a career, have made a
start on your personal statement planning and started
thinking about which medical schools will be right for
you.

This booklet has been created with love by the We Are


Medics team, tag us on Instagram - we would love to
see you using it!

Contributors:
Adeolu Banjoko
Alex Lawson
Anjitha Anilkumar
Ayesha Ahmed
Gar Man Lau
Halimah Khalil
Ria Shemar
Ruby Hill
Vaibhi Dua

Edited by: Kirsty Morrison


Introduction
Survey +
disclaimer
Survey
Before you complete this challenge, please
fill out a short survey available here. Think of
this like a pre-assessment.

At the end of the month, we will share


another survey for you to complete. This will
allow you to reflect on the skills you have
learnt.

Completing these surveys is a way of


supporting us, and we can use the results to
secure more funding, which will allow us to
create more exciting opportunities for you.

Disclaimer
This advice is based on personal experience,
and we cannot guarantee success based on
it. However, as current medical students we
believe it is high quality, relevant
information.

We do not support or endorse any company


or individual which charges money for
support during the medical application
process. We strongly believe that this advice
and information should be available for free.
by Kirsty Morrison

Introduction Reflective prompts are included

Guide to
throughout this workbook to help support
your reflection. This guide will help
reflection structure your reflective writing.

Importance of reflection
Medical students and doctors use reflection throughout their
careers to allow them to learn from mistakes, and identify +
celebrate successes 
Medical schools want to see you reflect on your experiences,
because this shows them what you have learned as a result
Reflection is important when writing your personal statement, and
when discussing experiences at interviews
Click here to read some examples of medical reflection from the
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
The General Medical Council have created a guide for medical
students about reflection, you can read it here - most of the
information is transferrable to medical applicants

Guide to Gibbs reflective cycle (adapted from here)


1. Description – what happened?
2. Feelings – what were you thinking and feeling?
3. Evaluation – what was good and bad about the
experience?  What went well and what went badly?
4. Analysis – what sense can you make of the situation?
5. Conclusion – what else could you have done?
6. Action plan – if it arose again, what would you do?

In order to get the most out of this e-book we


recommend you make reflective notes following each
activity. We have provided some prompts to help you.
Make sure you keep these reflective notes safe - you
will need them to prepare for interviews!
Medical Applicant
Challenge
JUNE 2020

M, 1st T, 2nd W, 3rd Th, 4th F, 5th


Post med Qualities of a
Clinical school doctor Finances at
communication careers activity uni livestream

M, 8th T, 9th W, 10th Th, 11th F, 12th


Organ Liver damage Insight into
donation podcast Med school surgey
debate episode research livestream

M, 15th T, 16th W, 17th Th, 18th F, 19th

Cancer Personal Multi- Personal


journal article statement disciplinary statement
appraisal livestream team prep 1

M, 22nd T, 23rd W, 24th Th, 25th F, 26th


Digital Personal Birmingham Respiratory
psychiatry stetment med school virus article
podcast prep 2 livestream appraisal
by Alex Lawson

June 1st Work experience is usually a crucial


aspect of your Medicine application,
Clinical  COVID-19 might have disrupted this. But
communication this activity will act as a useful insight to
clinical communication

Importance of communication
As future health care professionals, being able to communicate
effectively with patients is a key skill.
Explaining a diagnosis to a patient is a common scenario you might
come across during work experience
The quality of the explanation to a patient can influence whether
they follow their treatment regime
Making sure a patient understands their condition and their
treatments is therefore very important.

This video is an example of a GP explaining the


results of a blood test to a patient who has symptoms
of breathlessness and tiredness. Watch the video and
consider the ways in which the doctor communicates
with the patient. 

Use the prompts below to guide your reflection:


1. What was the goal of the doctor in this consultation?
2. How did the doctor ensure the patient understood what
was being said? 
3. What non-verbal techniques (things other than the way
the doctor speaks) improved the consultation for the
patient and doctor? [HINT: look at the way the doctor is
sat]
4. Why is it important that patients understand their
diagnosis and treatment? 
5. What makes an effective communicator? – brainstorm
a list
by Ayesha Ahmed

June 3rd Understanding the training pathways

Post-med after medical school is important to


demonstrate an awareness about the
school careers career trajectory of a doctor in the NHS

Medical school is the first part of the training pathway


There are many different training pathways after medical school,
depending on which career you are interested in

Diagram: from MSC website

1.) Learn: understanding the above image will be


great knowledge to take to your medical school
interviews! Try to have this diagram memorised
by Ayesha Ahmed

June 3rd Understanding the training pathways

Post-med after medical school is important to


demonstrate an awareness about the
school careers career trajectory of a doctor in the NHS

Foundation Programme
Those who wish to practise medicine will undertake a two-year
training programme after medical school
Foundation Year 1: the doctor is provided with a provisional
registration and a license to practice by the GMC
Foundation Year 2: on completion of FY1 they are granted a full
registration and licence to practice  
During the 2 years the doctor completes 6 rotations, each 4
months long, in different specialities of medicine and surgery.     
More information can be found here      
After FY2 many doctors go on to train in the specialty they desire
but having a gap year is also an option, called an “FY3”.

General Practice vocational training programme 


Typically, the training consists of rotations in hospital and in
general practice for 3 years.
More information can be found here
by Ayesha Ahmed

June 3rd Understanding the training pathways

Post-med after medical school is important to


demonstrate an awareness about the
school careers career trajectory of a doctor in the NHS

Other Speciality Training Programmes 


These training pathways are for doctors who wish to specialise
in a particular area they are interested in i.e. Surgery, Acute
medicine, Paediatrics, Psychiatry etc.
There are many different kinds of specialities and the training
ang registration for the specialities are run the speciality royal
colleges, each speciality has its own unique training pathway.
Training pathways for each speciality can be found on their
Royal College websites.

2.) Research: look up the training pathways for three


different specialties: why not try psychiatry, one
medical specialty and one surgical specialty?

3.) Reflect: now that you have looked at a few


training pathways reflect on them. How does the
training make you feel? Are you prepared to
undertake a career like medicine? Which speciality
are you interested in, what does their career
pathways look like and how do you feel after looking
at it? Make a note of your thoughts!
by Ruby Hill

June 4th Understanding the role of the GMC as an

GMC + qualities organisation will help you demonstrate a


good understanding of Medicine at
of a doctor interviews

Who are the GMC?


The General Medical Council (often referred to by the abbreviation
GMC) is the regulatory body that governs doctors as professionals.
It is the professional body that keeps a register of all the doctors
practising medicine in the UK
It also exists to give doctors a ‘code of conduct’ for how they should
behave, to achieve optimal care for patients.

GMC Good Medical Practice


Therefore, the GMC produces really good advice on professionalism,
and one section of this advice is a booklet titled ‘Good Medical
Practice’.
This is the booklet that a lot of medical students are given and
encouraged to read during their introductory week in their first year of
medical school
So reading and making use of it now for writing personal statements
and for interviews will look really impressive
The guidance in the ‘Good Medical Practice’ booklet is also very useful
for the Situational Judgement section of the UCAT, and one of my top
tips would be to read this through to help you with the SJT questions.
The booklet can be accessed via this link

Guide to reading Good Medical Practice:


‘Good Medical Practice’ is split up into 4 professionalism areas: 
1. Knowledge, skills and performance
2. Safety and quality
3. Communication, partnership and teamwork
4. Maintaining trust
These are the domains that the GMC see as super important for
doctors to uphold so that they maintain professionalism.
Under each of these domains, there will be bullet-pointed advice for
how doctors can uphold these qualities in clinical practice.
by Ruby Hill

June 4th Understanding the role of the GMC as an

GMC + qualities organisation will help you demonstrate a


good understanding of Medicine at
of a doctor interviews

1.) Once you have read each domain, I would


recommend condensing the information you have
read into a few succinct key bullet points that you
can easily remember and refer back to

Qualities of a doctor
Reading the ‘Good Medical Practice’ booklet
will probably give you a few ideas about the
qualities desired in a doctor.
A common interview question is "What
qualities do you think are important for a
doctor to have?" - so it is important to think
about!
Understanding the qualities of a good doctor
will also help you write a better personal
statement - because you can demonstrate
how you meet them!

2.) Create a mind map of all the qualities you think a


good doctor needs to have, and note a reason down
for each one - save this, you will need it for a later
activity

3.) Reflective prompt: What THREE qualities do you


think are the most important for a doctor?
by Vaibhi Dua

June 5th, 8pm Join us for a livestream to learn more


about managing money at university.
Finances at uni Bring any burning questions and we will
livestream do our best to answer them for you!

Introduction to the livestream


This Instagram live will cover an important part of uni… money!
We will discuss our personal experience with finances and talk
about part time jobs, the basic costs of uni and the support
available for those may need extra financial support.
I cannot urge you enough to tune in so you can really understand
how to best support yourself at uni and what resources are
availabe to help you! Join us here

Learning objectives:
Learn about the financial support available during the Medicine
admissions process, such as the UCAT bursary
Understand what basic university tuition fees are and learn more
about the roles of Student Finance England and the NHS bursary
Feel more confident in understanding how and where you can find
financial help before and during medical school
Understand the pros and cons of a part time job at medical school

Reflective prompts
How did you feel before and after this session with regards to
finances at medical school?
Do you think a part time job is something you could balance with
your medical school work? (Use examples to justify if you think
you have the time management skills)
Find two part time jobs which could be balanced alongside
medical school
Are you eligible for bursaries such as the UCAT bursary? If so,
check the deadlines to apply and put these in your calendar
by Adeolu Banjoko

June 8th Debate questions are very common at


medical school interviews. Developing an
Organ donation understanding of key medical news
debate topics is important to show an active
interest in healthcare.

Debate background
May 20, 2020 saw a major change to the law in England.
Organ donation for every adult in England changed from an “opt-in”
system, where you have to actively choose or check yes to becoming
an organ donor, to an “opt-out” system, where every adult is assumed
to be an organ donor unless they have chosen not to be.
We challenge you to do more research into this topic by preparing a
debate article! Below is a sample of how you can start preparing your
debate article using the example of organ donation.
Once you try this debate out, you can also try writing articles about
different issues, from privatisation of the NHS, to use of medical
marijuana!

Debate topic: What are pros and cons of the recent change of organ
donation to an opt-out system? 
Below we’ve provided the first couple points to get you started! You
can do some more research about both sides of the debate using
the same format we’ve started, then try your hand at article writing!

Pros supporting the opt-out system


POINT: The scarcity of available organs is a pressing issue in the
NHS, and is causing people to die where it can be avoided. 
PROOF: More than 6000 people are on the organ waiting list in
England today (BBC). In 2018 more than 400 people died
awaiting a transplant (BBC). By 2023, the change in law hopes to
lead to an additional 700 transplants a year (Metro News).
EXPLANATION: Clearly, by making it so adults in England are
automatically organ donors, there will likely be more transplants
that occur, saving the lives of people who die on waiting lists.
by Adeolu Banjoko

June 8th Debate questions are very common at


medical school interviews. Developing an
Organ donation understanding of key medical news
debate topics is important to show an active
interest in healthcare.

Pros supporting the opt-out system


POINT: Forcing people to automatically become organ donors
takes away patient autonomy from those who may not want to
PROOF: Only 40% of UK adults have signed the organ donor
register (The Guardian)
EXPLANATION: Not everyone, for their own personal reasons
whether it be religious or cultural beliefs, wants to be an organ
donor. Patients autonomy must always be upheld and respected,
and by changing to an opt-out system, this may be threatened,
as patients who forget to opt-out or unaware of the law change
may end up losing their autonomy and unwillingly having their
organs donated after they die.

Reflective prompts
What do you think are alternative options that could have
improved rates of organ donation?
Do some research into different diseases and conditions that
heavily rely on organ donation
Research the story of “Max Johnson” a boy whose life was
saved by a heart transplant, and who actually triggered the
introduction of this new law (that many call “Max’s Law” to
honour him).
What do you think life is like for someone with a transplanted
organ? Write down some ideas for how you think daily life may
be different, then do some research to see if you were right!
Finish the debate above, and think of other topics that you
could prepare a debate for!
by Gar Mun Lau

June 9th Listening to podcasts is another super-


curricular activity which can demonstrate
Liver damage interest in Medicine. This activity involves

podcast a podcast from The Lancet

Introduction to the podcast


In this podcast, Dr Kushala Abeysekara discusses research looking at
the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in young
adults in England.
With obesity being very much a current major global health threat,
health clinicians forecast a rise in patients suffering from liver
damage as a result, and more people presenting with NAFLD at a
younger age. 
Young adults are often considered the healthiest group in our
population and therefore may be overlooked. However, with rising
obesity, it is necessary to look deeper into the issue.
The podcast is available here

Summary of the podcast


Background:
NAFLD is the commonest liver disease in young people
Patients with NAFLD have a higher risk of primary liver cancer 
Mechanism of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): 
Fat deposition (steatosis) in the liver, this is related to obesity and
insulin resistance
Over time, this fat deposition causes stress and Inflammation to
the liver, leading to scarring (fibrosis)
Fibrosis can be reversible with patients optimising their weight,
but over time it can progress to severe liver scarring, which
impacts liver function (cirrhosis)
Important points highlighted in research:
>4000 people attended liver clinic, 1 in 5 had NAFLD  
Overweight/obesity = strong association with fatty liver
development
by Gar Mun Lau

June 9th Listening to podcasts is another super-


curricular activity which can demonstrate
Liver damage interest in Medicine. This activity involves

podcast a podcast from The Lancet

Read the article discussed in full here

Reflective prompts
What is the definition of obesity? Why is it becoming an issue
in healthcare? 
Find out about 10 other conditions where obesity is a risk
factor
Make a bullet point list of the major points mentioned in the
podcast
Have a read of the article in question. Do you think the author
summarise the study well in the podcast?
What can be implemented on an individual, clinical and
national scale to reduce population obesity? Try and make a
list of these ideas.
by Halimah Khalil

June 11th Researching medical schools is the first

Medical school step to making decisions about where to


apply to. Remember, only four UCAS
research choices can be used for Medicine!

Why is researching medical schools so important?


As medical school applications are associated with very high
competition ratios, you must carefully consider all aspects of your
personal application in order to maximise your strengths.
Taking into account teaching styles, location and other factors such
as the opportunity to intercalate, you can come to a well informed
decision. 
Through completing the following activities, we hope to help you in
making wise choices and ultimately making the process of selecting
medical schools less stressful!

Understanding the differences between medical schools


Discussed in detail below, are the different types of medicine courses
and the teaching styles offered by UK medical schools.
This is important to be aware of, to ensure you understand all of the
options available to you before making an application.
More information is available here

Standard entry Medicine Graduate entry Medicine


Usually a five year course, For those holding a previous
however can be six years degree, typically a four year
long in some medical course, but can be five years in
schools. certain universities.

Medicine with a Foundation or Gateway year


Designed for those who may not have the required science A-
levels, or need futher support in those subjects
by Halimah Khalil

June 11th Researching medical schools is the first

Medical school step to making decisions about where to


apply to. Remember, only four UCAS
research choices can be used for Medicine!

Teaching styles
Medical school teaching and course structures can be divided into
four main groups: 
Traditional: lecture and tutorial heavy in the first two years. Little
exposure to clinical settings initially
PBL: self-directed learning. Group discussions centered around
medical scenarios.
Integrated: a combination of lecture based teaching, small group
discussions and problem based learning. Clinical exposure is
encouraged from early on.
CBL: teaching is based around a given case scenario. Combination of
seminars, group work and lectures.
For more information on the types of teaching styles offered at
medical schools in the UK please read more here

Reflect: What are the disadvantages and advantages of


each course style? What type of learner are you?
Which type of teaching methods do you think would
best aid your learning? Can you think of examples
when you may have tried new learning approaches –
were they successful and why?
by Halimah Khalil

June 11th Researching medical schools is the first

Medical school step to making decisions about where to


apply to. Remember, only four UCAS
research choices can be used for Medicine!

Activity:
What teaching style do the medical schools you are
interested in use?
Most medical courses offer the opportunity to intercalate.
What is intercalation? Can you name some examples of
Intercalated degree courses?
Find out which medical schools offer a Foundation or
Gateway Year. Make a table with the adjusted entry
requirements for these courses specifically. Are you eligible to
apply to any of these programmes?

Playing to your strengths


Whilst the entry requirements for each medical
school in the UK are largely similar, the
weighting applied to each element of your
application can vary greatly.
To illustrate, some medical schools rely more
heavily on GCSE grades as opposed to the
UCAT or BMAT when selecting applicants to
interview.
By being aware of how each university utilises
all of these aspects of the application process,
you can choose to apply to medical schools
which maximise each of your strengths.
Applying 'smart' is absolutely crucial to
becoming a medical student. Remember, you
only need one offer to become a doctor!
by Halimah Khalil

June 11th Researching medical schools is the first

Medical school step to making decisions about where to


apply to. Remember, only four UCAS
research choices can be used for Medicine!

Activity:
Use the online medical school comparison tool produced by
The Medic Portal to compare the entry requirements of four
medical schools of your choice. Access it free here
The tool provides information in table format which you can
then copy and paste into a personal spreadsheet with
headings most important to you, such as ‘How is UCAT used?’
and ‘GCSE Grades required’

Reflect: What are the key strengths of your application? Do


your strengths lie in your academic grades, UCAT score or
personal statement? Which entrance exams do you need
to sit; UCAT, BMAT or both?

Where do you see yourself?


Whilst entry requirements and teaching styles should be considered
before making any commitment, asking yourself ‘Where can you see
yourself?’ for the next five to six years is also so important!
Factors such as location, accommodation and the university
campus can all play a role in helping you answer this question.  
The topics covered by us are by no means exhaustive.
Ultimately, the choice of medical schools to apply too, lies with
yourself. Research, research and research some more!
Compile a personal spreadsheet, double check entry requirements and
get in touch with people to gain a deeper insight. Read the medical
school websites and contact the admission office directly if you need
clarification.
by Vaibhi Dua

June 12th, 7pm Join us for a livestream to learn more


about surgery. This is a fantastic
Insight into surgery opportunity for online work experience,
livestream and to learn more about life as a surgeon

Introduction to the livestream


Surgery is a very exciting specilty with lots of hands on action!
We will be talking to an orthopaedic surgeon (Simon Fleming)
about his training and what sort of things you can expect to see if
you go into surgery.
This is a great session to give you real insight into surgery in the
NHS!
Some might say this is brilliant online work experience to add to
your personal statment... Join us here!

Learning objectives:
Understand the postgraduate medical training needed to become
a surgeon
Gain some understanding about the issues a surgeon might face
daily, and how they handle them
Be able to name a few members of the multi-disciplinary team in
surgery

Reflective prompts
What insight have you gained from this live about a career
in surgery?
Do you think surgery is something you would consider and
why? (Hint: use your knowledge on what makes a good
surgeon and see if you match some of the skills required)
by Alex Lawson

June 15th Journal articles are one way that medical


research is communicated. Learning to
Cancer journal appraise these articles is an important
article appraisal part of Evidence Based Medicine. 

Introduction to the activity:


This activity will guide you through critically appraising a journal
article
The article is available for free, here
The title of the article is: "A prospective study of tea drinking
temperature and risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma"
This article looks at the temperature of tea drunk by a group of people
in Iran. They tried to identify if the temperature and frequency of hot
tea being drunk affected the risk of oesophageal cancer in these
people.  
Read the study and then use the CASP cohort checklist to critically
appraise the paper
The CASP checklist is available here

Following the critical appraisal, use the prompts below to


guide your reflection:
1. What was the goal of this paper?
2. Do you believe the results (considering your critical
appraisal)?
3. How would you improve this study? 
4. Is this study important? Why? 
5. Can you think of another condition in which a similar study
could be run? – Try to plan how you would do this study
by Vaibhi Dua

June 17th, 7pm Join us for a livestream to get started

Personal statement with personal statement planning! We will


be sharing tips and advice to begin this
planning livestream daunting task!

Introduction to the livestream


Today we will be discussing how to kick start writing your personal
statement and what sort of things you can do to help prepare
yourself before writing that first sentence.
We will go over a checklist of things you can do before you begin
writing as well as top tips and dos and donts!
Join us here!

Tasks to do after the session:


Look up how the medical schools you are interested in use the
personal statement - do their websites provide a list of what they
want you to include?
Create a mind map of all the things about you which you are
proud of e.g. achievements, experiences and your best qualities
Read 2 example statements and highlight what you enjoyed about
it and what you would add. One personal statement is here and
the other here

Reflective prompts
How would your friends and family describe you?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself, it
really helps highlight 3 or 4 of your key qualities
Make sure these get communicated in your personal
statement!
by Alex Lawson

June 18th Work experience is usually a crucial


aspect of your Medicine application,
Multi- COVID-19 might have disrupted this. But
disciplinary team this activity will act as a useful insight to
the multi-disciplinary team

Introduction to the MDT:


Doctors are not the only professionals involved in patient care.
There are a wide variety of professionals who contribute to different
aspects of care.
It is important how these professionals work together in a team
The multi-disciplinary team (MDT) is now a core part of creating a
team of healthcare professionals to support patients and provide
patient centred care

This video explains what an MDT is and why they can


benefit patients. Watch the video and complete the
reflective prompts below.

Use the prompts below to guide your reflection:


1. What is an MDT?
2. Who may be present at an MDT?
3. Activity: Write a list of people who may work in an MDT and
what they can add to patient care
4. Why is it important that so many people are involved in
patient care?
5. Is teamwork important for doctors? Why?
6. Activity: Think about experiences where you have worked in a
team and how this relates to medicine 
7. What role does a patient play as a member of the MDT? What
can a patient contribute to their care?
by Ria Shemar

June 19th This is the first of two personal statement


planning activities. You will need the
Personal mind-map of the qualities of a doctor
statement prep 1 that we created on June 4th.

Introduction to the activity:


Work experience in a hospital or GP practice are not the only
experiences worth mentioning on your personal statement; far from
it!
Your experiences outside a clinical setting are just as important in
your development of qualities that are key to being a good doctor. 
The aim of this activity is to identify qualities you have developed
from your personal experiences that are important for a doctor and
begin to write reflectively about these experiences. 
This preparation will help you with writing your personal statement,
as well as discussing your personal experiences reflectively in
medical school interviews.

What experiences can I write about?


It can sometimes be difficult to identify the experiences and
activities from which you have developed notable skills and
qualities.
To help start your thinking, consider any experiences which
have required you to:
1. Communicate with others
2. Work as part of a team
3. Make decisions
4. Deal with unexpected situations  
Such experiences may include a voluntary role, a part-time
job, a sport or helping around your school/college.
The list of examples you could write about really is endless,
and very much dependent on your personal experiences.
by Ria Shemar

June 19th This is the first of two personal statement


planning activities. You will need the
Personal mind-map of the qualities of a doctor
statement prep 1 that we created on June 4th.

What can I write about these experiences?


After identifying some experiences you would like to write about, it is
important that you can link these towards being a good doctor.
This will help you demonstrate that you know how you are suited to
the role of a medical professional.  
Take a couple of minutes to review your mind-map of the qualities
that make a good doctor.
After doing this you can begin to form links between what you have
gained from your experiences and how this makes you suited to the
role.

Activity: annotate your mind-map with examples of


scenarios where you have displayed those skills. If
there are some skills that you don't have examples
for, think about what you can do to develop these.

The writing process: Before you get started on your reflective


writing, have a read of the reflective example on the next page.
This should help guide you in reflecting on what you have
gained from your experiences and why this is significant
towards being a good doctor.
by Ria Shemar

June 19th This is the first of two personal statement


planning activities. You will need the
Personal mind-map of the qualities of a doctor
statement prep 1 that we created on June 4th.

What is the activity/experience?


Part-time job tutoring Primary School children in English and
Maths 
What skill/quality have you developed from this?
Communication skills with a range of age groups 
How did you develop this?
My role in tutoring young children is based on good
communication. To successfully teach these children new
concepts, I have to ensure my tone is clear and engaging, and
that my non-verbal communication supports what I am saying.
I have also learned the importance of active listening in a
conversation, as this allows me to respond to any questions
students may have. 
Why is this an important quality for a doctor to have?
Good communication is at the centre of what a doctor does, as
they must be able to talk with patients and with their colleagues
clearly and effectively.
Having the ability to adapt the way we communicate with
different age groups is also crucial. Doctors often come across
patients of varying ages and must use different communication
styles to make the most out of interactions with each individual
patient. 
Is there anything you enjoyed about this experience? How does
this demonstrate your passion to become a doctor? 
I really enjoy building a good rapport with colleagues and
parents, which is something a good doctor should be able to do
for better delivery of care to patients.
I think I would enjoy the aspect of communicating with a range of
patients as a doctor, and being able to build a rapport with them
while having a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
I want to use communication effectively to make each and every
patient feel comfortable
by Ria Shemar

June 19th This is the first of two personal statement


planning activities. You will need the
Personal mind-map of the qualities of a doctor
statement prep 1 that we created on June 4th.

Writing activity
Once you have chosen an experience or activity to discuss, you can
use the framework below to help guide your reflective thought
processes, to identify what you have gained from your experiences,
and why this is significant in your development towards being a
medical professional.
Understanding what makes you passionate about a career in
Medicine is also valuable in writing your personal statement and
preparing for interviews.

Activity: use the following


reflective prompts to structure
your writing
What is the
activity/experience?  
What skill/quality have you
developed from this?  
How did you develop this?          
Why is this an important quality
for a doctor to have?         
Is there anything you enjoyed
about this experience?
How does this demonstrate your
passion to become a doctor?
by Gar Mun Lau

June 22nd This is the second podcast activity, again


listening to The Lancet podcast. This time
Digital psychiatry we will be focusing on psychiatry,
podcast because mental health care is a hot topic
right now.

Introduction to the podcast


There is an increasing need for mental health services, and this has
been especially apparent since COVID-19: services are being cut due
to social distancing rules.
Digital psychiatry is being considered as a possible solution, and there
are talks that that app technology can revolutionise the realm of
psychiatry.
However, this podcast not only runs through the benefits of digital
psychiatry, but also the issues we face and must address in
developing the ideal technology.
The podcast is avaiable here

Summary of the podcast


Pros:
2.7 billion people have a smart phone - high accessibility
Digital tools allow patients to take charge and monitor their own
health
Easy to enrol patients in research trials 
Cons:
Poor evidence base - not many randomised controlled trials
Research showed many health apps had non-existent or
inaccurate signposting to crisis and suicide hotlines  
Efficacy and safety are issues
Issue with informed consent in enrolling patients in trials -
patients not fully understanding terms and conditions
Current apps do not readily transfer data back to clinicians,
causing disconnect between the patient and doctor
High attrition rates associated with research involving apps -
users lose focus and determination after initial stages
Doctors do not supervise many of these health apps
by Gar Mun Lau

June 22nd This is the second podcast activity, again


listening to The Lancet podcast. This time
Digital psychiatry we will be focusing on psychiatry,
podcast because mental health care is a hot topic
right now.

So is digital psychiatry the future?


The benefits of using digital psychiatry are undeniable, especially with
the shift from paternalistic medicine to patient centred medicine, it is
now more important to educate patients to take control of monitoring
their own health.
Apps allow patients to do this easily. The cons noted are issues that
must be addressed when developing digital psychiatry, rather than a
negative.

Reflective prompts
What is the role of a psychiatrist? What are more
common conditions or symptoms patients present with
in psychiatry?
List examples of technology people use today to
manage their health. What are the pros and cons of
them?
Think about the ethical issues associated with using
health apps. How do these relate to the 4 pillars of
medical ethics?
Consider how you would advise a friend with no
knowledge of technology, on how to use digital
psychiatry apps. What should they be careful of?
by Anjitha Anilkumar

June 23rd This is the second personal statement


activity. This session will provide some
Personal structure to guide your personal
statement prep 2 statement planning.

Writing plan
For each of the five sections below, use bullet points or a mind-map
to note down the experiences you have which fall under these
categories
Your personal statement is likely to include sentences about all of
these five sections
Starting your planning early in June will allow you to build more
experience in certain areas if needed
For instance, if you don't have any super-curricular activities, why
not join our monthly book and journal club hosted on our Instagram

Why I want to do Medicine      Work experience + volunteering: 


Think about why YOU want to What did you learn from your
do medicine, what inspired experience? e.g. Saturday job =
you?   communication with the public
Be honest here  and do not If you did work experience in a
exaggerate healthcare setting, what did you
The universities want to see learn about being a doctor/
that you have made an other health care professionals?
informed decision

Super curricular activities: 


Think about the books/ podcasts / documentaries/ articles etc that
you have read and what they taught you about medicine
Make sure you explain what you learnt or found interesting  
It is much better to discuss one book in detail, rather than mention five
by name with no other information
You need to give enough detail so the reader can be sure that you have
actually read it  
Make sure that you’ve actually read everything because you may be
asked about it  in interviews
by Anjitha Anilkumar

June 23rd This is the second personal statement


activity. This session will provide some
Personal structure to guide your personal
statement prep 2 statement planning.

Sports or hobbies:
Academic achievements: 
What are your hobbies ? i.e. if
Do you have any relevant
you do dance or play an
academic achievements?
instrument?
i.e. competitions you’ve won,
What skills have you developed
prizes you’ve received?
which are transferrable to
How do your chosen A-levels
Medicine? (i.e.  leadership if
relate to Medicine?
you are a sports captain )

Use the STAR structure


Situation: give a brief description of the situation and provide some
background to the reader
Task: what task did you have to complete, include any objectives
you were aiming to achieve (e.g. raise £200 at a bake sale)
Action: explain what action you took - this should form the bulk of
your paragraph, the reader needs to know what you did and why
Result: what was the overall outcome? Did you meet the objective
you set out, did you exceed it? Use figures to support this section
(e.g. 20 GCSE students attended the revision series I organised)

Activity: over to you! Use the STAR structure


and start planning your personal statement
using the five sub-headings to organise your
experiences
by Anjitha Anilkumar

June 23rd This is the second personal statement


activity. This session will provide some
Personal structure to guide your personal
statement prep 2 statement planning.

Top tips
Be honest! Do not lie or exaggerate as you may be asked about what
you have written in interviews
Use evidence to support things you have said – show you have got a
quality rather than simply stating it.  instead of saying you have got
good leadership skills, describe an example demonstrating this
Proofread it! Sometimes you may miss mistakes, so, get someone else
such as a teacher or family member to proofread your personal
statement. You can also proofread it with fresh eyes after leaving it for
a few days.
Don’t be tempted to use a  lot of jargon or words you wouldn’t
normally
Start early! Start a good couple of weeks before your school’s
deadline so that you have plenty of time to do multiple drafts.
Know what the admissions tutors at the universities you are applying
to are looking for in your personal statement. This information is
usually available on the admissions pages of website. If unsure,
contact/ email the admissions teams.
How you write is just as important as what you write. Avoid using very
lengthy sentences and make sure you use grammar and punctuation
correctly.  Try not to use abbreviations such as “don’t” or “can’t”.
by Vaibhi Dua

June 25th, 6pm Join us for a livestream to learn more


Insight into about Medicine at the University of

Birmingham med Birmingham, we will be joined by the


fantastic Journey2Med team
school livestream
Introduction to the livestream
We are back once again with Journey2Med but this time exploring
Medicine at the University of Birmingham!
Send us in your questions and tune in to see what Birmingham
medical school is really like from a student perspective.
We will cover anythng from money and accomodation to studying
and friends!
Join us here!

Learning objectives:
Understand the different teaching styles in medical school, from a
student perspective
Be able to explain the difference between campus and city
universities, and gain an insight into which would be best for you

Reflective prompts
`Which teaching style do you think you would enjoy most?
Use your knowledge on each teaching style and your own
methods of learning to guide your answer
by Alex Lawson

June 26th This is the second activity using critical


appraisal and Evidence Based Medicine.
Respiratory virus This should consolidate your learning so
article appraisal far, and introduce you to a different type
of medical study

Introduction to the activity:


The article is available here. Article title: Physical interventions to
interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses
This study is a systematic review. This type of study aims to collect
data from different studies and trials and combine them to answer a
research question.
This review compared different interventions (treatments) for
respiratory viruses such as the common cold. 
Read the review and then use the CASP systematic review checklist to
critically appraise the paper. The CASP checklist is available here

Once done, use the prompts below to guide your reflection:


1. What did this review show? 
2. Do you agree with the conclusions of the review? 
3. Why is it important to conduct a systematic review? 
4. What makes a review systematic? Why is this important?
5. How could this review affect patient care?

Activity - design a systematic review.


Systematic reviews use a guide called PICOS.
This stands for Population (people), Intervention(treatment)
Comparator and Outcome (what you measure).
For the following clinical question try to identify the elements
of the PICOS needed for your review:
‘I want to find out if taking a single paracetamol tablet will
make my headaches go away faster than if I just drink water’
Conclusion
Survey + thank
you!

Survey
As you finish this challenge, please fill out a
short survey available here. This will allow
you to reflect on the skills you have learnt.

Completing these surveys is a way of


supporting us, and we can use the results to
secure more funding, which will allow us to
create more exciting opportunities for you.

Thank you!
Thank you so much for
completing this e-book, we really
do hope that you have found it
helpful.

Please share it with anyone else


who you think would benefit. It
would be great if you could email
it to your teachers or careers
advisors so they can learn more
about Medicine, and how to
support students during the
application process