This summer, our popular healthcare shadowing scheme for year 12 school students was expanded to GPs' surgeries for the first time.

Run by the university’s Widening Participation team in conjunction with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the scheme provides students who want to embark on health degrees with practical work experience and skills. Financial assistance and support is provided.

Securing work experience can be a particular barrier for students from under-represented groups who are interested in studying medicine.

Until this year, the placements available were all clinical work experience in the Trust. But Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care, Emma Metters, who is also a GP, worked with the university’s WP team to secure funding from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) for placements in local GP surgeries. As a result 10 placements were offered across six local GP practices, in addition to placements shadowing consultants at St George’s Hospital. A total of 30 students aged 16-17 completed work experience placements lasting three to five days.

Jess Bond, head of Widening Participation, said: "The placements were a great success and we look forward to partnering with the Trust and the RCGP again next year.”
This summer’s programme will formally end on Saturday 22 September with an event designed to help the students reflect on the skills and competencies they have developed as a result of taking part.

St George’s scheme was used as a case study for a piece in GP Online magazine about the RCGP's work experience placement efforts, which also featured our alumna Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP. You can read the piece here