Before you set up your Med Soc, it’s important to decide what your goals are. This will help you to be organised and focused from the start.
Do you want the Med Soc to focus on helping students with the Medicine application process? In this case, you could look into when the key application milestones are, arrange for some expert help with admissions tests like UCAT and BMAT, and organise some mock interviews.
Are you interested in learning about what a career in Medicine is like? You could arrange for some local Doctors and other healthcare professionals to deliver talks at your school and answer questions. You could also invite local researchers to present their work, if you would like to learn about exciting new developments in the field of Medicine.
If you need inspiration, do some research into what Med Socs at other schools are offering, and check out TMP’s online MedSoc. Once you know what you want to do, you can then focus on getting materials and contacts in place.
First of all, check with your teachers to find out if the school has had any similar groups running before. They could have some resources or contacts for you to use, or some ideas that would help you out. They might also know if any past students from your school are now studying Medicine or working in Medicine – and you could get in touch with these former students and invite them to deliver a talk.
If there’s a university in your local area which teaches Medicine, it’s likely they will have a student medical society. Get in touch with the medical society and explain to them that you’re setting up a Med Soc in your nearby school. They might be able to help you with contacts for organising talks, for example, or you could arrange for a Med student to visit your school and share their experiences.
You could try getting in touch with a few charities to see if it would be possible to establish a link and arrange some volunteering for members of your Med Soc. For example, there are charities such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, and medical volunteering projects such as St John Ambulance. If it’s related to Medicine or healthcare, send them an email. The worst they can do is ignore you – and even if they aren’t the right people to contact, they might forward your email to someone who can help.
You could also try contacting your local hospital or GP surgery to see if they have any space for students to do some work experience. If they do, you might even be able to establish a long-term partnership.
Some professional bodies that you may wish to contact for guest speakers or advice include the Royal Colleges (specific organisations for each medical specialty), the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal Society of Medicine and the General Medical Council (GMC).
It can be tempting to hold off on promoting your Med Soc until you have events and resources in place – but it’s wise to find out the level of interest early on. Is your Med Soc likely to be a small group of students, or are lots of people interested in joining?
It’s also a good idea to get a teacher involved in promoting the Med Soc. This will give it more legitimacy, and they will be able to get the message out to more people than you alone. Try not to be too restrictive with rules about who can join the Med Soc – you don’t want it to feel exclusionary or selective.
Once you’ve set up your Med Soc, you’ll need to stay organised and motivated to keep it running smoothly.
Follow other Med Socs, local universities and other relevant organisations on social media to get inspiration throughout the year. Also, don’t be afraid to ask members for suggestions of what they would like the Med Soc to offer!
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