Keele alumnus helps thousands of disadvantaged young people pursue careers in medicine
A not-for-profit organisation set up by a former Keele University student is celebrating its third anniversary – having helped thousands of aspiring young medical students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In 2015, the British Medical Association (BMA) released a report on the diversity of the medical workforce that showed 20 per cent of secondary schools in the UK provided 80 per cent of all applicants to medicine. Additionally, it stated that between 2009 and 2011 half of all schools in the UK did not provide a single applicant to medicine.
The Aspiring Medic’s Support (TAMS) was established to support students from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds on their medical journeys, and in just three years has made a huge impact in the UK reaching in excess of 3,000 students in more than 100 schools.
The organisation – led by medical students and doctors – was founded in 2018 by Dr Jacob Oguntimehin, a former student at Keele’s School of Medicine, who is also an Academic Foundation Doctor at the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, and a Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA) scholar. The Covid-19 pandemic marked a pivotal year for the organisation as it introduced novel ways of developing its outreach programmes remotely, and within months it went from reaching tens of students per month to hundreds and grew from a team of four to 20.
Jacob, a medical student at the university between 2015 and 2021, said: “Our sole aim was to change the under-representation of medical school applicants and medical students from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.
“The communities we serve face several social and economic hurdles both when applying to medical school and completing their medical degrees. We exist to positively shift this narrative, with the vision that significantly more can be done to support them in both their career aspirations, career progression, and personal development.
“The support I had from Keele was critical. I would often have to travel down to London in the early days of the organisation and my medical school were highly supportive and understanding of my desire to go back and help students from the communities I wanted to support. I can’t thank them enough.”
Professor Christian Mallen, Head of the School of Medicine at Keele, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students, and successes such as this really highlight our outstanding graduates. Jacob is truly inspirational and I am delighted his work is having such an important impact.”
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