Improving Welsh pupils' access to medical school

17 August 2018

Megan Bone receiving her A level results with her headteacher Miss Rebecca Collins

Thanks to the support of Cardiff University’s medical students, pupils in schools across Wales are getting a better chance at securing a place in medical school.

Through their Widening Access to Medicine Mentoring Scheme (WAMMS), the School of Medicine students have been supporting pupils with their applications and interviews, and providing lots of useful advice.

The initiative, led by David Lawson, who has just completed his 5th Year of medicine, has helped pupils in over 26 schools (200 pupils) across Wales.

One of these students, Megan Bone – St Cenydd Community School in Caerphilly – has just received her A level results and secured a place to study medicine at Cardiff.

Megan was very grateful for the support WAMMS gave her. She said: “The medical student that advised me was really helpful when it came to writing my personal statement. She also helped me prepare for the interview, in particular helping me practise delivering confident and well-structured answers. I am the first in my family to be going to university, so the support WAMMS has given me, along with the excellent support from the school, was really important to me.”

Ceri Bown, Deputy Head of St Cenydd Community School, said: “Megan is the first in the school to gain a place at medical school in the last 20 years. The student who helped her, Rebecca Whitworth, was brilliant and gave her lots of really useful hints, tips and advice. She gave Megan the confidence to believe in herself and to believe that she can be a future doctor. We are so proud of Megan and we will continue welcoming the medical students into our school so we can build on this success. Our school’s aspiration is for all pupils to aspire and achieve. Working in partnership with WAMMS has helped us to achieve this.”

Medical student, Rebecca Whitworth, added; “I really enjoyed helping Megan and am absolutely thrilled for her; she completely deserves the place in medical school. Taking part in this scheme is really important to me as many schools do not have a huge amount of experience when it comes to the process of applying to medicine. This is where medical students can really make a difference.”

As a direct result of the WAMMS engagement programme, along with others, the number of Welsh students studying medicine at Cardiff University continues to grow.

Professor Dave Wilson, Chair of the School of Medicine’s Admissions Group, said: “Our students are our best ambassadors and they are keen to support Welsh pupils. With a clear need for more Welsh pupils to consider medicine as a career, we hope that WAMMS will raise aspirations and give more Welsh pupils the confidence to apply.”