Dr Pietro Marini, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

The G2M programme recruits students to a one-year Certificate in Pre-Medical Studies which, if completed successfully, gives entry to the MBChB programme at the UoA. The entry requirements are constructed to draw applicants from a wider range of backgrounds than is traditional in medical students. Three themes were identified as barriers preventing students from applying to medicine: weak schooling leading to underachievement in science; community/school cultures where aspiring to medicine was unusual; apprehension about challenges of a medical degree. The main issues were represented by how to instil enough self-confidence and how to fill knowledge gaps these students may have.

Context

The G2M programme recruits students to a one-year Certificate in Pre-Medical Studies which, if completed successfully, gives entry to the MBChB programme at the UoA. The entry requirements are constructed to draw applicants from a wider range of backgrounds than is traditional in medical students. Three themes were identified as barriers preventing students from applying to medicine: weak schooling leading to underachievement in science; community/school cultures where aspiring to medicine was unusual; apprehension about challenges of a medical degree. The main issues were represented by how to instil enough self-confidence and how to fill knowledge gaps these students may have.

Activity

As G2M tutor, I have developed and coordinate learning strategies, delivering in-course and individual study advice sessions. I have designed and delivered specific lectures (reflective writing skills, observational skills) and workshops (UKCAT, Professionalism), aiming to enable students to progress into the MBChB degree. Simultaneously, I provided continuous support to G2M students through intense pastoral care, where issues and problems these students have encountered have been addressed and resolved. My main aim is to equip G2M students with all the skills they need, and overall, cultivating and fortifying they own motivation an essential quality for successfully achieve the MBChB degree.

Evaluation

To assess the effectiveness of the G2M programme, I regularly survey the students. They were asked about strengths and weaknesses of the programme, teaching contents, support they were receiving and any sensible observations they were keen to bring to our attention. Focus groups were also organised with the aim of constantly monitoring G2M students' progression and satisfaction. The main action taken according to students' feedback was related to replacement and introduction of new modules into the G2M curriculum, that were identified as more suitable at helping G2M students' learning and provide them with a more solid scientific knowledge background.

Impact

The G2M programme, was very positively received by the students. All the students attended the programme have successfully progressed into year 1 MBChB and they were very pleased to have taken part of the programme as clearly demonstrated by our survey. The G2M programme represents a once in a life opportunity for those students coming from deprived areas or REACH schools that otherwise would not have any chance to be considered for a medicine career.

Dissemination

I promote the G2M programme at teaching meetings within the University or externally. Recently, I have presented a poster at the 8th National Scottish Medical Education Conference (Edinburgh), where the programme was also nominated for and won the prestigious "Process, Development and Implementation" Award. I have also delivered an oral communication at the College EXPO 18 (Edinburgh). I am actively collecting data from the current G2M cohort, and my plan is to further promote the programme at both national and University level, as well as presenting it, as an ambassador, to both primary and secondary pupils across North Scotland.