Future medical students from across three Welsh counties are learning ‘on the job’ as part of a ‘Becoming a Doctor’ programme.

The Hywel Dda University Health Board’s medical work experience initiative gives students from Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion the chance to practise simulated suturing, cannulation and to learn from different clinical scenarios.

Local Medical Students in West Wales
(Hywel Dda UHB)

The ‘Becoming a Doctor’ programme provides students with people-focused experiences and an insight into the realities of caring for others. It supports the development of the skills and values needed to become a doctor, such as leadership, communication, teamwork, the ability to interact with different people, as well as a realistic understanding of the physical and emotional demands of a career in medicine.

Local Medical Students in West Wales
(Hywel Dda UHB)

Mark Henwwood, Deputy Medical Director at the health board said:“This year, we held clinical skills and simulation workshops in our four main hospital sites, Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli, and Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest.

“We want to raise awareness about this great opportunity with people interested in having a medical career in our local NHS. I hope it encourages and inspires them to consider the possibilities and give it a go.

Local Medical Students in West Wales
(Hywel Dda UHB)

Helen Thomas, Head of Medical Education & Professional Standards said:

“This year we were really excited to launch the new 'Becoming a Doctor' programme across Hywel Dda. We would like to thank all those departments and colleagues that were involved with making this year’s programme such a great success. The feedback from the pupils that attended the programme has been heartening. We will continue to build on this success, enhancing the experiences we provide to further inspire, encourage and support pupils from our local areas to embark on medical and healthcare careers within Hywel Dda.”

The ‘Becoming a Doctor’ programme incorporates medical school application support (which includes presentations and guidance from admissions staff from Cardiff and Swansea medical schools), clinical skills and simulation workshops, hospital/GP observation placements where appropriate.

Information for applicants:

• Students must be 16 years of age or over to be placed in a clinical area or ward for work shadowing/observation only - they will be assigned to shadow a medical student/junior doctor undertaking their normal duties, allowing close observation to gain an insight into the role

• Students must arrange a placement through contacting the Future Workforce Team [email protected] who will send through the relevant application and clearance forms to students for completion.

• Students will need to meet the following criteria for consideration for a medical work experience placement in Hywel Dda:-

1. Students will need to live in and/or attend an educational institution within the Hywel Dda University Health Board localities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire

2. Minimum GCSE Grade 6/B in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry & Physics

3. High predicted A-level grades (minimum B) in Chemistry and Biology, plus Maths, Physics or Psychology

4. Completed applications will need to be returned to the Future Workforce Team who will arrange for the forms to be processed. Application deadline is December 31, 2023

5. Students who successfully secure a placement will be contacted by the Hywel Dda Medical Education Department with full details of the ‘Becoming a Doctor’ programme

· Please note work experience placements are dependent upon availability and infection control measures and this timeline may be subject to change.