Concord’s Medical Futures Conference

Over the past 7 years, Concord’s Medical Futures Conference has been a true highlight of the year and the 2024 annual conference was no exception!

Aimed at year 11 and 12 students aspiring for careers in medicine, the conference provides a wealth of insights into the realities of medical careers, opportunities to practice some clinical skills, speak to many doctors and medical students and comprehensive advice on navigating through the complex admissions process. The day has often proved to be a catalyst in making this important decision.

This year, around 70 members of Concord’s own Medical Society attended, alongside a similar number mostly from state schools across the region, providing a wonderful opportunity for students with shared aspirations to find common ground in exploring medical careers. Many new friendships were struck up on the day.

The morning programme consisted of lectures in the Morris Building Theatre, with students learning how to succeed in their medical school application and how to choose the right medical school. Talks were given by Abraham Bashir, a Senior Tutor and The Medic Portal and Dr Gordon Dent, Director of Admissions and Senior Lecturer at Keele University Medical School.

Great advice about how to avoid clichés and what to include in your personal statement. It helped me to be aware about whether the universities I am applying for focus on hard or soft skills.

—Year 12 student, Newport Girls’ High School

After lunch, provided by the College, students spent the afternoon in Concord’s science building where they could build their own personalised programme. They were free to select from a wide array of short formal presentations and practical workshops supplemented by opportunities to speak directly to representatives from nearly 20 universities, 12 specialist doctors and many, many medical students including a significant number from the Concord Alumni Network. Arguably one of the most valuable aspects of the day is the opportunity to speak to people at all stages of their medical careers, from students to junior doctors to consultants from a wide range of specialities.

The day concluded with a fascinating keynote presentation from Scientist, Engineer and Innovator, Dr Katerina Spranger, the founder of Oxford Heartbeat – an award-winning start-up company that develops medical device software to allow planning for surgeries to be simpler, faster and more accurate.

I found meeting the younger professionals really interesting, to have an insight into what being a junior doctor is like at the moment.

—Year 11 student, Shrewsbury School

[The Medical Mavericks clinical skills workshops] was my favourite one! We looked at lots of different equipment, for example SEC, sphygmomanometer. We also tried to get blood from the fake hand.

—Year 12 student, Concord College

Dr Spranger’s talk was one of the most inspirational talks I’ve ever heard, her enthusiasm for Biomedical Engineering is absolutely astounding.

—Year 12 student, Concord College

I am so so so incredibly grateful for this rare opportunity to actually have conversations with real doctors working in the NHS. I gained a lot of insight into their careers and how a range of specialities differ. Dr Umesh Udeshi (Radiologist) seemed to be so passionate about his career. He told me what he does at work and how much he loves it, and that really sparked an interest in radiology in me. I really enjoyed taking a biopsy of a pear with his special equipment. Dr Alexandra Tham (GP trainee) was an awesome person to talk to. She was so funny and relatable, she certainly brightened up my day. As she was closer to our age, her perspective on medicine was vastly different from other doctors I had talked to, so it was very interesting and helpful.

—Year 12 student, Concord College