This week-long event is aimed at helping medical undergraduates develop a strong clinical, academic and research portfolio that will help them to pursue a career in a competitive surgical or medical speciality on completion of medical school. It will also enable students to obtain essential knowledge about their chosen speciality and acquire the confidence to interact with consultants whilst undertaking clinical placements. This event has previously been supported by, amongst others, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, UG Department of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Medical Protection Society, The British Royal Navy, The University of Dundee, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, The British Orthopaedic Association, The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, The Royal College of Surgeons of England, The Royal College of General Practitioners, The Royal Society of Medicine, The British Medical Association and The UK Space Biomedicine Association.

Day 1

Delegates will decide if they wish to attend talks on specialities related to medicine, surgery, or disciplines such as GP, Radiology and ACCS. Consultants from these specialities will provide the delegates with an overview (‘taster’) of their speciality in the form of ‘Day in the Life of….’ talks. This will be particularly beneficial for students who wish to obtain a better understanding of the various career options and are yet to decide on a particular speciality.

Days 2 and 3

In addition to essential theoretical information related to individual specialities, there will be workshops on basic surgical and suturing skills, basic life support, trauma life support, basic orthopaedic skills, laparoscopic skills, performing an ECG, undertaking an ultrasound examination and inserting a chest drain. There will also be an ophthalmology workshop, an obstetrics and gynaecology workshop, and a paediatric and neonatology workshop. Successful completion of the Summer School will require students to attend six mandatory lectures and six workshops.

Day 4

Day 4 will provide the delegates with pertinent information on various academic/research aspects such as intercalating and carrying out clinical and basic science research (leading to MSc/MRes/MPhil/PhD). This day will also cover aspects related to undertaking clinical audits, oral and poster presentations, and publications, as well as discuss the pertinent aspects of academic training/academic career. The highlight of the day will be World University Anatomy Challenge.

Day 5
On the morning of the final day, delegates will be given necessary information on developing and nurturing a portfolio, recent advances in and the future of certain specialities, and tips on entering a specialist training programme. In the afternoon, there will be parallel sessions on careers outside the traditional curriculum such as Conflict and Military Medicine, Space Medicine, and International Medicine and Public Health.

Aims of The School

Provide a clear insight and enhance understanding of the most competitive surgical and medical specialties.

Offer a taster of basic clinical and surgical skills in a chosen specialty

Provide guidance on developing a strong portfolio

Present opportunities to interact with consultants and registrars in an attempt to arrange clinical placements and undertake projects

Highlight areas that may be of future interest in a chosen specialty

Empower delegates with guidance on how to develop their chosen career

Overview to School

Recent changes in the training structure for junior doctors, coupled with a reduction in the duration of training, mean that doctors must choose their ‘lifetime’ career within 1-2 years of leaving medical school. To decide on a speciality at such an early stage can clearly be an arduous task since exposure to the competitive surgical and medical specialities during medical school is limited. This has resulted in junior doctors (Foundation Years) reaching the ‘cross roads’ of choosing a career without a clear understanding of the merits and demerits, pressures and challenges, and long-term prospects of the various specialities.

This can be overcome if medical students decide on a speciality whilst at university and channel their efforts towards developing a sound understanding during hospital placements and diligently constructing a tailored portfolio. In addition, such students will clearly hold an advantage during the job application process and, later, in interviews. Tailoring the portfolio will involve choosing appropriate clinical placements and electives, undertaking clinical audits and/or basic science research, presentations and publications, and demonstrating a clear and purposeful interest in that speciality.

During the Summer School, Consultants, Registrars and junior doctors from each speciality will provide students with essential knowledge and information about that speciality. They will also offer students advice, guidance, and opportunities to develop their portfolio.

In addition to learning, students will also be given the chance to interact with their peers from other medical schools in the UK and beyond during the various social activities and programmes which will be arranged for the long summer evenings.