UCLan and East Lancashire Hospitals Trust hold medical school taster day for future doctors

4 March 2016

Hands-on learning for next generation

Aspiring doctors of the future have been given an insight to life as a medical student at an event organised by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in partnership with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT).

As part of a Medical Taster event, young people from across East Lancashire and beyond spent the day at the Royal Blackburn Hospital followed by a visit to UCLan’s Medical School to learn more about the medical profession and the training involved. The forty visitors came from state and independent schools from across the region, as well as 20 international pupils from Cardiff Sixth Form College.

The students were able to follow the patient journey during their visit to the Royal Blackburn Hospital by meeting patients on the wards and speaking to both junior and senior doctors to find out what life is like in a busy NHS hospital. During their time at UCLan they learned about the importance of good communication skills in the medical profession, took part in an anatomy and physiology workshop and had a mock medical school interview.

Professor Cathy Jackson, Head of the UCLan Medical School, said: “This is the second time UCLan has teamed up with the Royal Blackburn Hospital, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, to support this project in order to engage with the local community and offer experience and hands on learning to the next generation of people working in the medical profession.

“Although at the moment UK and EU students can’t apply to study medicine at UCLan, we are still very keen to support the local health economy by offering this taster course. Our aim is to provide a true insight into what can be a very worthwhile career and demonstrate they key practical and communication skills needed to be successful in the medical profession.”

Luke Philippides, a 17-year-old pupil at St Mary’s College in Blackburn, took part in the event. He said: “It’s been a really insightful few days and I particularly enjoyed going onto the wards and speaking directly to patients. Being able to work with equipment here at UCLan, such as the anatomy models, as well as practising clinical skills such as CPR and blood pressure measurement have all been beneficial in giving me a first glimpse of life as a medical student.”

"Our aim is to provide a true insight into what can be a very worthwhile career and demonstrate they key practical and communication skills needed to be successful in the medical profession"

Cardiff Sixth Form Careers Advisor Kevin Willoughby brought his pupils to take part in the taster event for the second time. He said: “We have 60 pupils this year who want to study medicine so we wanted to give as many as possible this opportunity to have access to a clinic environment, meet live patients and experience the intensive interview process they will be required to go through. We have a great relationship with UCLan and I hope it continues.”

The UCLan medical degree (MBBS) began last September with an intake of 35 international students. The University is working with five regional NHS Trusts to deliver clinic placements as part of the course, including ELHT, with the aim of improving local NHS services by attracting the best international medical students to study in East Lancs and Preston and possibly return to work in the area.

“We are delighted to help the students gain experience of a medical career, as well as finding out more about the personal qualities which make a good doctor,” said Dr Damian Lynch, ELHT Director of Undergraduate Education.

“The Trust is delighted with the success of the UCLan medical degree and look forward to welcoming medical students when they come on placement at East Lancashire Hospitals.”

Local schools and colleges participating in the Medical Taster event included Alder Grange Community and Technology School, Blackburn College, Cardiff Sixth Form, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Nelson & Colne College, St Wilfrid’s Academy, St Mary’s College, St Christopher’s Sixth Form College, Tauheedul Islam Girls and Thomas Whitham Sixth Form. 

See images from the taster day on UCLan's Flickr Gallery.