Mini-Med School: promoting awareness of medicine as a career for suburban and rural high-school students

Authors


  • F. M. Shaikh MD, MRCSI; M. Babar MD, MRCSI; K. S. Cross MD, MMedSci, FRCSI (Gen), FRCS (ED).

Correspondence

Mr Faisal M. Shaikh, Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Ireland. Email: faisalshaikh@rcsi.ie

Abstract

Background

There is a global shortage of medical manpower. One approach to resolve such deficiencies is to effectively promote health careers to high-school students. Summer programmes held by medical faculties provide ideal opportunities for pre-medical students to examine the possible career opportunities in medicine.

Methods

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has recently launched a ‘Mini-Medical School’ (MMS) programme for suburban and rural high-school students in the South Eastern Region of Ireland. This paper illustrates the MMS project and describes the participants' reaction and evaluation of the programme and the factors influencing their desire to practise medicine in future.

Results

A total of 90 students completed the online survey (response rate 75%). Eighty-two per cent of the students indicated definitive and strong desire to study medicine after secondary school. There was no difference in interest between male and female students (P-value 0.665). The main factors influencing this interest were personal. Forty-four per cent of participants attributed this to the opportunity to help others while 30% to the intellectual challenge, whereas family, friends and other factors accounted for the rest of influential factors to study medicine. The majority agreed (60%) that the programme was quite accessible and easy to have a place. Opinions about the content of the programme focussed mainly on the interactive sessions. Forty-seven per cent liked the live patient–doctor interaction session the most, and 43% found the live video session very informative.

Conclusion

The MMS is a highly effective platform for both the medical specialties and the high-school students.

Ancillary