Dr Timothy Dexter, a Consultant Anaesthetist at BMI The Chiltern Hospital on London Road, recentlyinvited over 70 sixth-form students from across Buckinghamshire to Wycombe Hospital for a medical education day sponsored by BMI Healthcare and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The one day event, aimed at educating 6th form pupils who are considering a career in medicine, gave the students a taster of the demands faced by a doctor, to assist them in deciding if a career in medicine is truly for them.
The students were welcomed by Anne Eden the Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Dr Dexter who started the day with an introductory talk about his own experiences and career in medicine. Throughout the day the students undertook several practical sessions with medical professionals performing Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on a mock dummy and an electrocardiogram (ECG), which records the rhythm and electrical activity of your heart, on one another using ultra-sound to identify their hearts and livers. Students were also given a tour of the pathology unit and shown how to conduct other clinical skills including a lung function test.
After the day had concluded Dr Dexter commented, “This is the second event we have held and I was thrilled to see so many students interested in medicine. I have worked in medicine for over 28years and I can remember how anxious and overwhelmed I felt at their age. It is this feeling of anxiety that brings busy practicing doctors back to support this event every year. Hopefully some of the students will now seriously be considering a career in medicine, it is a fantastic career and one that I am so glad to have been able to provide insight into.”
All the sixth-formers were also put through their paces with a mock interview by Mr Neal Watson, Mr Patrick Lintott and Mr Simon Kreckler, who are all experienced interviewers for Oxford and London medical schools. After the mock interviews the students were given advice and tips on how to improve their technique and hopefully improve their application. The process was described by one student as, “Very scary, but so useful”.
Dr Dexter explained; “In such a competitive field, it is very important to stand out from the crowd. The key to a successful application is plenty of work experience either in nursing homes, hospitals or in other clinical environments. I hope we were able to give the students a taster of the types of situations and learning environments that they will encounter at university. More importantly, I hope that students enjoyed the experience and have gone away feeling more confident about whether this is the correct career path for them.”
Adrian Peake, Executive Director at BMI The Chiltern Hospital said, “I am extremely pleased that so many of our clinicians are involved in supporting students who are considering a career in medicine. With the ever increasing demands and pressure on students it is important that they are able to make an informed career choice. We hope that by hearing from someone who has been through the same path they will be able to get a taste of the dedication required and the hard work ahead. This is a unique opportunity to gain insight and first-hand knowledge of what a career as a doctor might entail and the different situations they may encounter throughout their degree.”