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The University of Southampton

Inspiring doctors of the future through unique work experience collaboration

Published: 29 March 2019
Work Experience
Students Caitlin Gray and Abdi Osman with Dr Tessa Greenhalgh in clinic

INSPIRING the next generation of medics is the aim of an innovative new work experience scheme designed for students from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

Organised by the University of Southampton in collaboration with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, the scheme aims to increase access for students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to gain a placement in a hospital or General Practice setting.

A total of twelve students in further education across Hampshire successfully applied for the scheme, which delivers a unique insight into a variety of medical specialities at UHS. The students were required to fulfil eligibility criteria, which included being the first generation of immediate family to apply to higher education or being in receipt of bursaries or grants.

Initially, the students attended a pre-placement workshop at the LifeLab education space, a joint initiative of the University of Southampton along with the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre and based at UHS. The students were given a briefing to prepare for, and get the most from, their experience.

The placements themselves include a variety of sessions with consultants and other health professionals across UHS who were able to show them their work first hand with activities including shadowing doctors in clinics, observing medical procedures and spending time in the Emergency Department.

Students then attend a post placement workshop to help them reflect on the opportunity and how they might use it in their applications to medical school and to further their career aspirations. The work experience has evolved from the Widening Participation in Medicine programme BM6, which has been co-designed and delivered by Professor Sally Curtis from the University.

Sally said: “I am delighted that we are delivering such an innovative work experience scheme. Raising aspirations is key in widening access to medicine for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Attracting and recruiting students to medicine from diverse backgrounds not only enriches the profession but the university experience for all”

Student Abdi Osman from Southampton said: “It has been a really useful experience, particularly finding out how the doctors got into medicine and watching them at work.”

The work experience programme is one of three being organised this year at UHS, with more taking place over the Easter and summer holidays.

For more information about the hospital work experience programme or other opportunities within the outreach programme, contact Caroline Tracey on 023 80597377 email              

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