This week BSMS hosted a one-day conference to explore the kinds of doctors people want, and how BSMS can best select candidates with these qualities.
More than 100 delegates attended the 'How can we select the best future doctors?' event, including colleagues from BSMS and other institutes of higher education, healthcare professionals and representatives from local schools and colleges, as well as members of the public.
The conference comprised presentations from a range of speakers such as BrightMed and BSMS graduate Dr Erin Doherty, Rachel Dickinson, Head of Biology at Cardinal Newman High School and the Chief Executive of the Medical Schools Council, Katie Petty-Saphon. These were followed by lively round-table discussions of the issues raised, including the characteristics people wish to see in their doctor, the values BSMS should be looking for in its student intake and suggestions for selection methods it could look to implement.
Prof Tony Weetman, Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield and Chair of the Selecting for Excellence Executive Group gave the keynote speech. He quoted the shocking statistic that just 20% of schools in the UK provide 80% of medical school students, a key issue in selection that needs to be addressed. The figure suggests the medical profession is closed off to large parts of the population and potential future doctors may not even be aware of how to apply to medical school.
Participants shared their hopes that through widening participation schemes, such as BSMS's BrightMed programme, and improving the selection process, in future a career in medicine will become a realistic option for more applicants regardless of their social or economic background.
Prof Malcolm Reed, Dean of BSMS attended the conference and said, "It was a privilege to host this event and explore ways in which we can make the medical profession open to anyone who wishes to pursue a medical career regardless of their background. BSMS can be proud of its track record in selecting a broad range of student doctors and we are at the forefront, nationally, in terms of widening participation. Based on the conversations and feedback we've received this week, we will continue to work to improve in this area." Prof Reed went on to thank all those who attended, especially the patients, members of the public and teachers who brought so much to the meeting.
Download a summary of the event >