Colleagues across Barnet Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and University College London (UCL) came together to host the inaugural Target Medicine work experience programme for 100 young people from underrepresented backgrounds in medicine.

The programme was developed in 2010 to address the widening gap between the most and least affluent pupils accessing medical school. The two-day work experience placements spanned across 20 different specialties at our trust with the support of over 30 consultants and 19 UCL medical students and staff.

Temitayo Lawal, interim senior access officer at UCL’s medical school, led on the project alongside Dr Swee-Ling Wong and Dr Neha Chopra from the Royal Free Hospital, Dr Raymond Yau and Dr Daniel Epstein from Barnet Hospital and James Cai, a final year medical student and student lead.

This is the first time Target Medicine has been able to offer sustained clinical work experience placements to sixth form students. Rupa Lakhani, senior access officer at UCL medical school said: “I jumped at the opportunity. Accessing clinical work experience is an area our students really worry about.”

During their placements, students took part in daily debrief sessions to discuss how they could speak about their experience in medical school applications and interviews.

Imogen Bidwell, an education fellow involved in the initiative, described the experience as “really impressive and enjoyable”. United in praise of the programme, James Cai spoke of an “unforgettable week”.

One student that took part said: “I am 99% convinced that medicine is the career for me. You can never be 100% sure and it's good to have doubts, but I've seen so many things that really convinced me. I feel excited by the prospect of learning the science behind it all.”

Find out more about UCL’s Target Medicine programme here.


Pictured above: students reflecting on their placements during the debrief sessions