Widening participation conference for medical students

The National Medical Schools’ Widening Participation Forum was created in 2015, by Dr Enam Haque and Helen Franklin from the Division of Medical Education at the University of Manchester. This forum aims to develop collaborative work between widening participation teams in different medical schools in the UK. There are 21 medical schools, the GMC and UKCAT who are members of this organisation, and the work has put The University Manchester as a leading institute for widening participation in medicine.

The University has developed a national reputation for our collaborative work on research and outreach work. As a result of this the Medical Schools’ Council (MSC) invited us to design and deliver a conference in London during November 2018. The aim of the conference was to improve widening participation strategies amongst medical students in their respective institutes. This unique conference was designed mainly by students and junior doctors from the student working group representing four medical schools – Manchester, Hull-York, Plymouth and Birmingham. The University of Manchester was represented by Charlotte Auty, a 4thyear medical student and President of Manchester Outreach Medics (MOMS), and Dr Ben Ryan, the founder of MOMS and now an FY1 doctor.

The conference was held in Central London and attended by 96 students and staff from 36 medical schools across the UK. It received positive feedback for its innovative approach to training medical students on improving their work in widening participation. Due to this success, the MSC have invited the University to design and deliver the conference again in 2019.

Dr Enam Haque, described the conference: “This was an opportunity to utilise the most important resource we have in widening participation work, the students. I was impressed by their level of enthusiasm, engagement and commitment in making and then delivering a conference from scratch.”