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Inspiring the next generation of doctors in Wales

5 March 2016

med day

Aspiring doctors have been given an insight into what a career in medicine has in store at a one day event held at Cardiff University. 

The MedWales conference brought together 200 Year 12 students from across Wales to find out more about what medical training involves, with information on the journey from being an A-Level student through to becoming a foundation doctor, and beyond.  

Part of Cardiff University’s Step Up scheme to encourage young people from all backgrounds to consider studying at university, the annual conference helps to foster home-grown talent and inspire the next generation of Wales’ doctors.  

Now in its 15th year, MedWales has seen as many as 3,000 sixth-formers and college students experience what a degree in medicine has in-store.  Unlike others, the event is free of charge and includes information on applying to medical school, together with tips on how to write personal statements and prepare for interviews. Welsh-speaking students were able to hear about the opportunities to study some of their degree course through the medium of Welsh.  

Through a range of hands-on surgical and clinical skills workshops, including a demonstration of keyhole surgery, the conference provided a real taste of life as a medical student.  Attendees were given the opportunity to meet with current students, and graduates now working in the diverse world of medicine.    Parents and guardians were also able to find out more about the finances involved in studying medicine and have the chance to quiz a panel of students on their experiences at Cardiff.

Junior Doctor Katerina Walach from Rhymney, who attended MedWales previously, said: “It was the Step Up scheme that got me excited about university and help me prepare to enter Medicine. I joined the scheme when I was 17 and loved attending the numerous event, from MedWales, to the Summer School, Open Days and Roadshows….. you name it, I went to them all! The experience of this opened my eyes to the requirements of pursing a university course, making the necessary contacts along the way and having real practical hands-on experience I truly don’t think I would have been able to do elsewhere”

Speaking ahead of the conference, Professor David Wilson, Chair of Cardiff University’s Medical Admissions Group, said: “A degree in medicine can lead to a rich and rewarding career, whether working in front-line services, in the community, or in ground-breaking medical research. Whether they hope to become surgeons in Swansea, GPs in rural Wales, or medical researchers, I hope that this weekend’s event will inspire students from across Wales to consider the range of skills that studying medicine can provide, and to realise the exciting opportunities that training and working in Wales has to offer.”