Trust inspires doctors of the future

A BRADFORD student is set to embark on a career as a doctor after being inspired by her local hospital.

Eighteen-year-old Anna Mehrem (above, right) has won a place at Leeds Medical School – an achievement she puts down to the skills, knowledge and support received by attending specialist courses at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI.)

The hospital, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is leading the way in trying to create opportunities for people through projects such as the ‘Introduction to Medicine Widening Participation’ summer school and associated courses.

These courses see BRI playing host to enterprising students from local Bradford schools; young people who are set on a career in medicine.

During their time at BRI, the students not only have the benefit of support and encouragement from clinicians and staff but they also see for themselves what life is like on a busy ward, caring for patients.

As a result, the young students who take part are now reaping the rewards and one such success story is that of Anna Mehrem, of Lidget Green, a former pupil of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, Heaton.

Interview preparation

Anna said: “I attended the introduction to medicine course as well as the course on interview preparation for medical schools.

“I first made the link with the Trust and BRI when I was 16, as a year 10 student and got a work experience place. I chose my GCSE subjects around medicine because I always wanted to be a doctor but I was unsure as to whether or not I could make the grade.

“Everything I have learned at BRI has definitely helped me get my medical school place and I am so grateful to all those involved. I have been lucky enough to go onto the wards, talk to patients, shadow various staff in their roles and have great support such as help with my personal statement. I’m not sure I would have been successful getting a place if it hadn’t been for the courses and the support I’ve had.

“I used to be quite shy but this experience has really boosted my confidence. It definitely helped with the medical school interview. Students receive a ranking for the interview from the medical school and I was told I got a ‘one’ which is the top. The feedback was great. BRI definitely prepared me with the skills to get this far and I would recommend these courses to anyone thinking of doing medicine.

“Who knows – one day I might return to BRI as a doctor. I’d like that because it would be a great place to work.”

All of the courses are put together by the Trust’s Clinical Education lead, Sharon Walker and team, and overseen by the Trust’s Deputy Medical Director, Alex Brown.

Well-deserved success

Alex said: “I’d like to congratulate Anna on this well-deserved success. The course really helps to build confidence in these young people who may have thought about a career in medicine but are not always sure about how they would go about it or what they need to make it happen.

“It is not just about being academically able. When they apply to medical schools, they need to be able to demonstrate they are really committed and have got a CV to prove this. This is where this course really helps because it prepares them for that application process. It’s all about giving students a better chance.

The Trust’s Work Experience Co-ordinator, Adele Speight (above, centre), added: “The response from our local schools has been fantastic and the students themselves are so enthusiastic. I’m proud that Bradford hospitals can play such a role in creating opportunities for these young people who are clearly set on a career in medicine.”

Have you recently applied for Medical School? If so, then Bradford Teaching Hospitals is offering a training day that may help you. The course is aimed specifically at students who have applied for Medical School and it will cover a variety of essential topics to aid their applications.

It takes place on Saturday, October 28 from 9am to 4pm and anyone interested should email Adele at