Future doctors from low-income backgrounds are attending a unique residential course at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough this week.
The week-long programme features live theatre lectures, practical workshops and the chance to speak to consultants from a range of specialties in a unique career carousel event.
The “I Want to Be A Doctor” course has been organised by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation, for the second year running to support high achieving students from low-income backgrounds.
Previously the foundation’s annual event was held in London, but last year it moved to the North East and based itself on an actual hospital site.
This year around 89 students from 53 local authorities across the UK are taking part in the programme, which is funded by Health Education England and also showcases what the local area has to offer.
The 16 and 17-year-olds are staying in the hospital residences at James Cook and making use of the high-tech educational equipment at the university hospital’s Institute of Learning, Research and Innovation including life-like patient simulation training.
Students have been watching surgical procedures via a live link to theatres and taking part in a number of interactive workshops covering everything from plaster skills to falls prevention. They also benefit from consultant mentors, skill sessions and university application support.
Jane Bates, Tees base unit undergraduate medical education manager said: “Last year’s event was a great success so we are very excited to welcome more students in 2018.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the fantastic facilities we have here and show people what a great place this is to live and work.
“We want all these young people to want to come back and work here when they finish medical school. They are our future!”
David Johnston OBE, chief executive of The Social Mobility Foundation said: “In supporting our work, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is demonstrating its commitment to improving access to the profession for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and we welcome their knowledge and skills in preparing Social Mobility Foundation students for a career in the medical sector.”
Trust chairman Alan Downey added: “We are enthusiastic in our support for initiatives such as this which improve access to the profession. We hope the students will enjoy and benefit from spending time in the fast-paced environment of a hospital which is both a major trauma centre and a tertiary care centre.”