Medical school's Widening Access team recognised with award win

The team tasked with widening access to the University of Aberdeen's medical school have won a national award in recognition of its success.

The Widening Access team picked up an award for Excellence in Transitions as part of the NHS Education for Scotland’s National Medical Education Conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday (April 24).

The team run an annual programme of events designed to introduce and educate secondary school children across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland about potential careers in health, medicine and medical healthcare as well as workshops for S6 pupils planning to apply to study medicine.

Professor David Reid, Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry said: “The widening access team at the Aberdeen Medical School are responsible for a number of extensive and inclusive initiatives that provide a positive experience for applicants, their parents/guardians and teachers and in doing so have successfully widened access for entry to medical school.

“The success has thrived on the development of strong partnerships with the Aberdeen Reach officer, NHS Grampian and NHS Highland staff.”

In addition to educational courses for secondary students, University students studying the Medical Humanities component of Medicine are offered placements within schools to deliver medical-related courses and responsible for identifying and mentoring pupils interested in medicine.

The team also oversaw the establishment of a medical student ambassador scheme that sees two or three students establish a working relationship with specific schools and where appropriate and possible offer talks and advice to encourage and assist pupils with a view to highlighting possible careers in health, medicine and medical healthcare.  

Professor Reid added: “The Admissions Team have developed a wide range of initiatives that allow and support, and encourage individuals who might not have considered medicine as a realistic career ambition, to have the confidence and certainty to make such an application. This award is recognition of that effort and the resounding success of the project.”

Dr Karen Foster, Admissions Lead for Medicine said: “I am delighted that the team’s work has been recognised with this award. Our activities contribute to widening access to the medical profession for all applicants with the ability and attributes to succeed. However, we would not be able to deliver many of these initiatives without the fantastic support of NHS staff in Grampian and Highland, for which we are very grateful.”

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