By Dr Sara Namvar and Prof. Niroshini Nirmalan
Postgraduate students may access careers in Medicine or Dentistry either at undergraduate (more expensive) or graduate-entry (more competitive) level. Only postgraduate students may access Physician Associate studies.
Where it starts after graduating: Most students will start a 2-year Physician Associate Masters. Others may apply and secure a place on a 4- or 5-year Medicine or Dentistry course. Carefully considering finances and workload both during your undergraduate degree and beyond graduation is required.
Where you can end up: A Physician Associate, Doctor or Dentist. Your career can grow in any specialty you wish. You may also get involved with university teaching/research eventually.
Benefits of a career in this field: Working closely with patients and shaping healthcare. Being able to diagnose and treat your own patients.
Graduate Entry Medicine Mentoring at Salford (GEMMS) was established in 2015 by Prof Niroshini Nirmalan and a group of Biomedicine students with the objective of inspiring students to apply for careers in Medicine and Dentistry.
In 2019, the scheme was expanded to include post-graduate entry for Physician Associate studies with Dr Sara Namvar overseeing and co-leading GEMMS-PA. Each year as many as 30 students have taken part in elements of the mentoring scheme, with 4-5 students successfully transitioning onto Medicine or Dentistry. Many more successfully join Physician Associate courses. The mentoring for this working group is quite intense and involves close collaborative activity between staff and students with reliance upon the good will of our alumni.
Large scale events are regular and popular (e.g. Personal statement writing, mock interviews, external inspirational talks etc) attracting 100 students at a time and are usually held many times during the year. These are followed up with smaller bespoke events depending upon the needs of students at the time. Mentoring generally begins with career management support – helping students decide upon the extracurricular activities they need to engage with and providing references to hospitals for instance. There are regular personal statement workshops and personalised feedback on statements. Interview practice sessions are also a regular occurrence and often involve our valued alumni sharing their experiences. For students working towards Medicine or Dentistry, a working group of students has been established which holds regular UKCAT/GAMSAT study sessions to support preparation.