The university application process is now well underway for Shrewsbury’s Class of 2020, with no less than fifteen final year students aiming to be accepted into highly competitive medical degree programmes.
Medicine is traditionally a very popular vocation for Shrewsbury students, whose commitment and academic strengths places them in a good position both in the university selection process, and in the rigorous training that follows. However, Associate Director of Higher Education (Thailand), Stuart Markes, notes that the increased accessibility of high quality degree programmes here in Thailand, is one of the factors that has led to even more Shrewsbury students considering medicine as a future career .
Over 10% of the entire Year 13 cohort is applying to medical programmes this year, but given the challenging nature of the application process, undergraduate training and day-to-day life of a doctor, this is not a process that should be embarked upon lightly, Mr. Markes says.
“[All prospective medics] will likely complete multiple applications. On top of that, students are encouraged to do volunteer work, and any involve themselves in work experience opportunities to help their applications stand out, and prove they have the resilience, commitment and informed perspective that is required for anyone wishing to succeed in the medical profession. Finally, candidates take the BMAT exam, submit a Portfolio and then have interviews! It is a lot to take on.”
For many students, that last step, the interview, can be the most challenging as the universities will only accept candidates who they deem to have the personal qualities to succeed in the role, in addition to strong academic knowledge.
Above: Opportunities to take part in co-curricular opportunities such as the Operation Smile Medical Missions provide great first hand experience for future doctors.
Many of these qualities are immeasurable, but include how the student deals with pressure situations, their ability to show empathy towards others, and what their own life is like outside of the classroom; for example how they demonstrate a genuine passion for helping others.
“Assessors want to see qualities that patients require in their doctors; empathy, diligence, confidence and a drive to get successful outcomes. We are confident that this year’s applicants have what it takes to succeed. Although a daunting process, our students are equipped with a Shrewsbury education where they have been challenged on a daily basis, and have had wide variety of opportunities – academic and otherwise - which together help them to develop truly informed world view”
Mr Markes continues, “In addition to this, we also we also have a well-established support programme in place to ensure that all of our university applicants are selecting courses that are the right fit for them them. In the case of medical applicants, we offer a series of specific opportunities that draw on the expertise and support of medical professionals as well as our own staff, that help the students themselves decide whether this challenging career is the right choice for them. Through things like seminars, case-study reviews, “mock interviews” and patient “role play” scenarios, we expose students to some of the broader aspects of the medical profession and allow them to consider how they they would respond as a qualified professional. For some, this process leads them to consider alternative paths, but for many, these opportunities serve to affirm their vocation, and provide real confidence going into the application process. I wish all of our students the very best of luck”.