Medipathways’ principal aim is to help students progress into medical and dental schools and, from there, to become doctors and dentists. Our Strategic Plan outlines our aim to expand these progression routes and also to offer more pathways for students who are not able to, or decide not to, become doctors or dentists and who, instead, choose to progress into other career paths. For both sets of students, a focus on employment is important and transferable skills are embedded within our curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
In the Ethics module, for example, you will examine different aspects of medical and research practice, and the ways in which doctors treat patients. There is also a module in the first year of our BSc. programme, History of Medicine, which explores the changing nature of the doctor-patient relationship.
Our validating institution, the University of Buckingham, has enjoyed an outstanding success rate in graduate employment. For example, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for job prospects with 97.3% (July 2014). The Complete University Guide reported that the University ranked in the top five for Graduate Prospects (May 2014).
It must be acknowledged, however, that Medipathways is a ‘pathway’ college, providing routes to other degree courses, usually medicine or dentistry. In the event any of our students wish to take an alternative career path to employment, we strive to reflect this success rate by seeking guidance from Buckingham as well as our own internal support & development system for such students. They have an excellent resource on their website showing useful careers web-links.
Many of the employment skills and key competencies that a doctor is required to have are common to other career options. This can be seen on the General Medical Council’s website. At Medipathways, we address many of these key skills as it not only prepares our students for medical or dental school entry, but also prepares our graduates for other career options, should they consider these.
Each student on our course is provided a MediMentor, who is a current student at medical or dental school. They provide support to the student with regards to insight into life as a student, knowledge of particular skills needed as well as assistance on application processes and entry exams. Many of these skills are applicable to any profession (eg interview skills, CV writing workshops) and ensure every student has developed some skills to assist in employability.
All our students are encouraged to make use of membership at various scientific and medical societies, and in particular the following:
All of these give access to talks and events, and expose students to other biomedical professions as well as medicine. The Society for Endocrinology hosts student-led interest groups and day schools, which College students are encouraged to participate in.
We also arrange talks from external speakers on practical aspects of a medical career and of other biomedical professions.
Self awareness and team-working skills are encouraged by the reflective portfolio, the communicative and co-operative demands of assignments, and by professional development activities including careers seminars and placements. In the Research Methods module, for example, students are asked to post a reflective log of their tutorials on Mahara. This anticipates the requirement at medical or dental schools for them to do the same, as well as preparing for careers where all professionals need to engage in reflection on their own self-improvement.
This ensures that our students – the majority of whom have an initial career pathway in mind for entry to medical or dental school – are supported and well prepared for their consideration of alternative pathways should they change their mind whilst with us at Medipathways.
Employability Skills Workshops
During the course of your study at Medipathways, a number of workshops, usually through Medimentors, dedicated to development employability skills, such as applying for jobs or preparing for interviews. These workshops also enhance the quality of applications made to various work-experience/volunteering providers (such as local hospitals, clinics, hospices and care facilities) as well as actual paid jobs. This serves our students in the following ways:
- Develop skills required for job application and employment after graduation (should the student decide not to or be unable to pursue medicine or dentistry careers.
- Assist with applications for work-experience/voluntary work or part-time work to enhance application to medical or dental schools as this is usually an essential requirement in their admissions process
- Expose the student to be aware of and experience working with other healthcare professionals to get a broader knowledge healthcare systems/professions with the NHS as an alternative careers choice
- Enable students to answer common questions at medical/dental school interview: ‘Why Medicine and not any other careers choice?’,’What alternative careers options have you explored?’, ‘Why don’t you become a …… instead of a doctor/dentist?’, ‘How do you know you are not better suited to a becoming a ……?’ ‘How have you actively ruled other careers options out?’.
Alternative careers and pathways – The NHS – third largest employer on the planet!
Including medicine or dentistry, there are over 350 different careers within the NHS, so this is a good place to start if looking for alternatives in science and healthcare. Their website is a fantastic resource for guidance, as well as actual job vacancies. They even have a section for those that are not sure on what career path to take up: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/not-sure/ Their site also has a downloadable lsit of Job Profiles.
Details of our extended Employability Strategy can be seen by our students on our VLE: Medimoodle, or supplied upon request.