by Itihad Yafai, MBChB student and member of Birmingham Widening Access to the Medical Sciences (BWAMS) student society and conference chair of Dr.eam Junior
On Saturday 26th November 2022, BWAMS hosted its annual flagship, free-to-attend Dr.eam Junior Conference for Year 12 students who were interested in the pathway to medicine and what it entails once accepted onto the course. This virtual event was a great success with over 200 attendees and amazing speakers who delivered a range of informative and insightful talks and panels.
The Dr.eam Junior Conference aims to provide the opportunity for state school students to gain an insight into Medicine and other healthcare related careers. Throughout our conference, our wonderful volunteers were able to answer over 200 questions making this conference a huge success. We were able to reach a high percentage of our target audience allowing us to achieve our primary goal of making medicine more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.
As conference chair, I began planning in September 2022, giving the conference officers and I well over 2 months to start mind mapping and bringing things together. We began by reflecting on last year’s Dr.eam Junior Conference in order to make this one the best we could to meet the needs and expectations of aspiring medical students around the UK. As a team, we decided to structure the conference in a sequential manner, one which would resemble the medical application process that the Year 12 students will soon be expected to go through.
We developed a target plan and delegated tasks amongst us to bring this conference to life. Our conference was a one-day event from 9am to 3pm. It was filled with a range of subject areas which we hoped the Year 12s would find useful, ranging from work experience to what life is like as a medical student and doctor. We hoped these different subject areas would further inspire the Year 12s to consider medicine as a potential career pathway.
There were two aspects of the 6-hour conference which were very memorable. Bowen delivered an amazing talk regarding A Level revision, the struggles and how to overcome these hurdles. He stressed the importance of active recall and spaced repetition to improve memory and overall scores in the long run. The significance of using technology for revision was also emphasised. At the end of the day technology is at our fingertips so why not use it to our advantage? This talk provided us all with the opportunity to reflect on our revision styles in hopes to better them and do the best we can in future exams.
Another great point in the conference was the panel. The panel was a great way to involve students from alternative healthcare degrees. With Andeep hosting the panel, it was proven to be a smooth and structured one. It involved a medical student, pharmacist, a biomedical student, a dentist and two nurses. This gave the year 12 students an opportunity to consider alternative healthcare careers alongside medicine and to broaden their way of thinking. The panel lasted for over 30 minutes with several questions being answered by each healthcare student. This was definitely a memorable point in the conference.
In conclusion, this year’s Dr.eam Junior conference was unbelievable with many thanks to all our volunteers, we couldn’t have done it without you! Each volunteer put in their all and pitched their individual talks at the correct level, this undoubtedly captured each and every prospective medical student’s attention. A very special thanks also goes to Efua our BWAMS president and Andeep and Sanskriti our conference officers, you were all incredible to work with and made planning this conference that much easier.
This year’s Dr.eam Junior Conference has been another success! Onto Semester 2, where we’ll be hosting 2 more conferences for prospective healthcare students. Thank you all for tuning in, we hope to see you again soon at one of our upcoming conferences!