Covid care provides inspiration for award-winner

8 December 2022

Former radiographer Mohamed Chand named Mackenzie Scholarship recipient

A student who witnessed first-hand the care doctors gave during the Covid-19 pandemic has received a special scholarship from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Former radiographer Mohamed Chand has swapped career paths and has been named as the 2022 recipient of the Mackenzie Scholarship.

The Scholarship, which is open to applicants from East Lancashire, is jointly funded by UCLan and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and this covers his tuition fees for the duration of his five-year Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree at UCLan.

Mohamed, from Blackburn, said: “I was delighted to find out I’d been chosen as this year’s winning recipient, it really is an honour to receive such an important scholarship.

“I’m very grateful to be given this amazing opportunity and I am very motivated to perform to the best of my abilities.”

The 25-year-old was working as a radiographer in Bradford Royal Infirmary during the beginning and at the height of the pandemic. He had worked in the role for three years after graduating from the University of Bradford but it was seeing the doctors carry out their work while under such circumstances that persuaded Mohamed to go back to university to retrain as a doctor.

"I’m very grateful to be given this amazing opportunity and I am very motivated to perform to the best of my abilities"

Mohamed Chand, 2022 recipient of the Mackenzie Scholarship

The former Pleckgate High School and St Mary’s College pupil said: “While working in the hospital I was able to witness first-hand, and truly appreciate, how healthcare workers, and in particular doctors, provided high quality patient centred care especially when very little information was known about Covid-19.

“The doctors tried to help patients to recover by practically applying their skills and knowledge whilst still applying a human touch to their care. I found this very inspiring, and it motivated me to want to study medicine.”

Returning to studies four years after graduating also has an added benefit. “I’ve been so used to working night shifts or early morning shifts so to be back in the classroom during daylight hours is great, “he commented. “My previous career has been a good help so far as I’ve got a great understanding of the body.”

The aim of the Mackenzie Scholarship is to provide opportunities for students who come from backgrounds that are under-represented at university to study medicine, as well recruiting and retaining local doctors to NHS employment in areas, such as Lancashire, that struggle to keep hold of healthcare professionals.

Mohamed added: “I’m looking forward to studying hard and when I graduate, I want to stay in my local area and give back to the community.”