Cornwall's next generation of doctors, dentists and vets are being given a helping hand by industry professionals in the region.
The Atlantic Future Medics Scheme has been developed by the Atlantic Consortium, a schools and college partnership between Cornwall College, Newquay Tretherras Academy, Treviglas Community College and Wadebridge School, with the support of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and Penmellyn Veterinary Group, to encourage students to consider a career in these industries and to support them in being able to achieve this.
The programme hopes to raise the aspirations of Cornish teenagers, initially offering A-level students the chance to gain the required skills and experiences to make a successful application to related Higher Education programmes through a series of specially designed conferences and events.
The first group of future medics attended the launch event at the Atlantic Centre recently where they took part in workshops and discussions with medical professionals. In groups they then had to produce and deliver a presentation based on what they had discovered during the day.
Newquay Tretherras student Karensa Hawkey, 17 from Perranporth, said: “It’s been really interesting. I’ve been able to talk to the experts and find out more about a career in veterinary practice which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little.”
Yiu Wai, 16 from Treviglas School, said: “I want to be a doctor so it was really useful to talk to the people who have experienced studying and have now got jobs.”
Emma Ingram, 17 from Cornwall College St Austell, said: “For me I found it very helpful to know what kind of things to include in my personal statement and what qualities to try to get across as it’s quite daunting that I have to apply to university in just four months.”
Camborne Science and International Academy student Jared Cooper, 15 from Hayle, said: “The day was really good, I thought I might get bored but it was a really good atmosphere, everyone was friendly and I learnt a lot to help me become a paramedic.”
Morgan Whittaker, 16 from Stithians and a student at Penryn College said: “The event was really useful and informative. I really enjoyed a task where we were taught about diagnosing epilepsy. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet but this has given me a good insight.”
David Price, 16 from Richard Lander School said: “It was good, I really enjoyed the dentistry session. I want to do something in the medical profession but I’m not quite sure what yet.”
Amy Bennett, 16 from Pool Academy, said: “I thought it was really beneficial as it’s inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. I now know what I need to do to get into uni. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for a few years and I’d maybe like to specialise in paediatrics.”
Organisers are currently in discussions with the region’s universities to increase their input in the scheme.
Teresa Lawrance, Atlantic Consortium Director, commented: “We want to encourage Cornwall’s young people to strive to do the best they can in their future careers, to show them that nothing is out of their reach. It is our aim that the Atlantic Future Medics Scheme will be the first of a number of schemes to support our young people in realising their full potential in different areas.
“This scheme will be the first step for many in realising their dreams by breaking down any concerns or misconceptions they may have about moving towards a life as a medical professional and coax them through the process of finishing school, choosing A-levels and applying to university.
“We have had so much support from the region’s industry professionals and educational establishments and we can only see those relationships growing as the scheme expands to help more and more future medics."
For more information please contact Teresa Lawrance, Atlantic Consortium Director, on email@example.com