The School, one of just five new centres opened across England to address a shortage of doctors in the NHS, opened in 2019 with the option of a Foundation Year for those whose background may mean they are less likely to meet the academic requirements for direct entry.
During the Medical School’s Spring Conference – the first of its kind due to the pandemic – Dr David Snow, Associate Medical Director for Medicine and Emergency Care at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, praised the University’s dedication to widening access through the Foundation Year option.
He said: “Many youngsters aspire to a career in medicine but don’t necessarily have the means. Edge Hill is committed to nurturing a new generation of doctors and physician associates who, in turn, will help the medical workforce better reflect the local community.
“I look forward to working with Edge Hill’s students when they’re on placement at our hospital. Once they graduate, they will provide a crucial boost to healthcare round the North West.”
Emmanuel Oyelami, a second-year medical student who completed the Foundation Year, said:
“Edge Hill’s Medical School has given me the opportunity to study medicine which I might not have had elsewhere.
“The education and support I am now getting, and the access I have to amazing facilities which will help me develop my clinical skills and boost my confidence, are making it possible for me to follow career ambitions I didn’t know if I’d be able to pursue.”
The Spring Conference provided a platform to share how the Medical School has developed while strengthening links with clinical partners and the wider medical community.
Clare Austin, Dean of the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine, said:
“Here at Edge Hill we are proud to know we are educating doctors and physician associates of the future, clinicians who will go on to make a real difference in the communities they serve for generations to come.
“Our ambition as a Medical School is to have a real impact on the quality of care provided across the North West and we’re excited to be one of just five new schools created to take on the challenge of strengthening the workforce in an area where recruitment can be challenging.”
Attendees included Medical School staff and students, consultants and speciality doctors from trusts including Merseycare, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and representatives from the voluntary sector such as North West Ecological Trust.
Posters created by Medical School students to illustrate their volunteering placements were on display at the conference with prizes on offer for the best entries.
Workshops were held and attendees were able to explore the University’s multi-million-pound Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre.
And Dr Shirley Remington, Associate Dean for Health Education England (North West), used her keynote speech to discuss ‘Career Skills for Life’.
The new undergraduate programme, which complements Edge Hill’s postgraduate medical degrees such as MSc Physician Associate Studies, offers a five-year MBChB Medicine course as well as the option of an additional Foundation Year.