The Medical Specialist Group is welcoming more medical students than ever before as hospitals elsewhere struggle to offer places due to the covid-19 pandemic.
In previous years, fewer than 10 students have come to Guernsey. But 24 have already been accepted for this year and more are expected to apply.
Medical students’ placements – known as electives – usually last for eight weeks and normally take place in the fourth year of a five-year medical degree. They allow students to apply their learning to medical practice.
"We are keen to support the learning of the next generation of doctors and provide them with the opportunity to do an elective, which is being denied to a lot of students right now due to covid-19," said Dr Clare Betteridge, consultant paediatrician, who also runs the Medical Specialist Group’s Taste of Medicine course for sixth formers.
“We can only take on a limited number of students at a time, but we do our best to support and provide them with alternative dates if possible. We hope that some will love the island and want to return to work here in the future.”
Pictured: The Medical Specialist Group has significantly increased the number of placements - known as electives - offered to medical students.
Eva Papaionnou, a medical student from Bristol, said she would consider applying for roles in medicine after enjoying her elective in the island.
“Choosing to do my final year elective at the Medical Specialist Group in Guernsey was one of the best decisions I have made,” said Ms Papaionnou.
“The consultants and hospital staff in the obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatric teams were so welcoming and very enthused by having students around.
“It was nice to feel appreciated and part of the team as well as to learn from senior members of the team.
“It was great to have an insight into a professional medical career on a small, gorgeous island and returning as a doctor is definitely something I will consider in the future."
Pictured: Students doing electives in Guernsey are exposed to the island's distinctive healthcare system, including the absence of junior doctors at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
Students often undertake electives abroad. Pippa Richardson, also from Bristol, said she was grateful for the opportunity to do her elective in Guernsey after being informed that she could not travel abroad due to the pandemic.
“I hadn’t been to Guernsey before and was intrigued by the different medical system and how the hospital functioned without junior doctors,” said Ms Richardson.
“My placement was split between obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics. Before the placement, I was given a lot of valuable information to assist with the transition to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
“During the eight weeks, I was very well supported by all members of staff and found there was a large amount of camaraderie between multidisciplinary teams.
“The one-to-one opportunity with consultants was engaging and unique to Guernsey. They were all very enthusiastic to teach and give me the hands-on experience I was looking for alongside providing information about applications and further opportunities for a career in medicine.
“I’d definitely recommend an elective in Guernsey to anyone interested in applying.”
Students interested in undertaking a medical elective with the Medical Specialist Group should e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured (top): Medical Students Eva Papaionnou (left) and Pippa Richardson.
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