Within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, we have a strong and established history of widening access to healthcare courses at university in order to encourage possible future medics, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals to unlock their potential and realise their aspirations from a young age.
We also support teachers and careers advisors in providing the best possible support and advice to their students in applying for healthcare courses in higher educations. Here are some of our recent highlights and successes:
Greater access is key to changing the face of the medical profession
The Birmingham Post has noted that we have increased our intake of medical students from under-represented backgrounds by almost 600% in four years.
Year 10 Medical and Dental Sciences Discovery Day 2016
The College held it's 3rd annual Year 10 Medical and Dental Sciences Discovery Day on 16th June. Pupils from 12 schools across the UK participated in interactive talks, workshops and activities led by our undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff. Particular thanks should go to Beth Woodward (BSc Biomedical Science) and Imun Madar (MPharm) who gave inspirational student perspective talks giving the pupils a real insight into life at the University and to all those who made the event such a success.
The day was well received by the pupils, who provided feedback such as:
“It was nice to talk to young people about what I love about Nursing.” Kam, Nursing student.
“It was a pleasure to be involved and I know I would have appreciated an insight into being a student and aspects of academia at that age!” Beth, Biomedical Sciences student.
MDS lecturer wins the Famelab UK National Final 2016
Following a successful heat in Birmingham in January and northern regional final at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry in February, Alex Conner, Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Clinical Sciences won the Famelab UK national final at Greenwood theatre, London in April. As Alex says “This was a wonderful opportunity to write and perform 3 different 3 minute pieces around my research interests.”
Year 10 Insight Day: Medicine
The College held it’s third annual Year 10 Insight Day: Medicine on 23rd March. Over 100 students and staff from 11 schools from across the wider West Midlands attended the event in the Medical School and participated in a day of interactive activities with our staff and students.
With the aim of raising aspirations and widening participation in the Medical profession students heard about the different routes into Medicine, and about life as a doctor and life as a medical student from enthusiastic people working and studying in Birmingham. The visiting Year 10 students also had the opportunity to meet and join in with activities run by our own students’ Birmingham Widening Access to the Medical Sciences (BWAMS) society.
“I have enjoyed the day a lot and I hope that I will be a student of this university in the future”. Year 10 student attending Insight Day.
“The Life as a Medical Student talk was the best part of the day because I now understand exactly what I need to do to get into medicine.” Year 10 student attending Insight Day.
“The day was extremely informative and enjoyable.” Teacher attending Insight Day.
Inspiring Masterclass Series
The autumn term saw the College of Medical and Dental Sciences host its annual series of Masterclasses, aimed at giving students the opportunity to experience learning at a selective Russell Group university. The content of the classes is designed to build on topics students cover as part of their school curriculum.
This year the seven Masterclasses were attended by over 500 students from local schools. Subjects covered in the sessions included:
- Under pressure: novel strategies for treating high blood pressure
- Making medicines child-sized
- Childhood obesity prevention
- Understanding the role of animals in scientific research
- The ethics of organ transplantation
- A bleeding problem
- Interested in the Biochemistry of Life?
The masterclasses were extremely well received by the students who provided feedback such as:
"Very Interesting - made me adamant on learning more about the subject"
"A good insight into this particular topic – I thoroughly enjoyed"
"Very enlightening to different issues surrounding a controversial topic"
"The masterclass was really cool and it gave further insight into the crazy world of Biochemistry. Overall it was an excellent afternoon."
The College would like to thank Prof Prem Kumar, Dr Hannah Batchelor, Prof Peymane Adab, Dr Andy Coney, Dr Greg Moorlock, Dr Gill Lowe, Suzy Hall and Dr Jon Wolf Mueller for leading the sessions.
Vice-Chancellor's Prize Winner
The Vice-Chancellor's Prize is awarded once a year to a final-year undergraduate. It takes into account scholarship, as well as personality, leadership and initiative. The 2015 prize was awarded to Azeefa Sajad (BNurs, 2015) in recognition of her outstanding achievements over her three years studying Nursing at the University of Birmingham. Azeefa's success is the latest in a long line of prize winners in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences; for 11 out of the last 12 years, students from the College have won one or both of the Vice-Chancellor's or Chancellor's Prizes.
Azeefa also took part in our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme before starting her course. You can listen to her talk about her experiences in the video below.
Birmingham Medical Heroes
One of the Birmingham Medical Heroes, Dr Shayan Ahmed who is a Foundation Doctor Year 2 studying within the West Midland Deanery was in our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme having first been inspired to do medicine in 2004 at a University of Birmingham residential summer school. His job entails caring for patients and helping them make decisions, offering all the options available to them and helping with their treatment.
Hear how Birmingham University had a big impact on Dr Ahmed
Widening Access to Medicine: Teachers' and Careers Advisors' Conference - Wednesday 1 July 2015
Over 20 teachers and careers advisors from across the region attended an afternoon of talks, discussions and activities designed to give them the in depth information required to better prepare their students for applying to study medicine or dentistry at university.
Delegates heard from the Outreach and Widening Participation team at the University, as well as Dr Austen Spruce, the admissions tutor for medicine, and current students on a variety of topics including entry criteria, UKCAT preparation and the variety of widening access to medicine events held on campus.
Delegates also had the opportunity to experience what it is like to take part in a multiple mini interview (MMI), allowing them appreciate the process from an applicant's perspective. It turned out to be much more difficult than many anticipated!
The annual event was enjoyed by those who attended:
Every session gave me something to take away"
A very good update and plenty of material to pass on to staff and students"
A worthwhile and useful event to keep us up to date on the access to medicine admissions process "
If you are interested in attending future conferences, please contact our Outreach team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hormones: Sun, Sex and Steroids symposium - Monday 6 July 2015
The Medical School welcomed over 200 A-level students from local schools through its doors for the first Society for Endocrinology public engagement event. The students attended talks about a wide range of endocrine topics from sex development to the health benefits of vitamin D, building on their existing knowledge from A level curricula.
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