First ‘Mini Medical School’ at the South West Acute Hospital

First ‘Mini Medical School’ at the South West Acute Hospital

The Western Trust Medical Education Department at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen are hosting a first ever Mini Medical School. The new initiative is aimed at Year 13 Students, from a number of local schools, with the objective of inspiring a new generation of Medical Students from the area.

With workforce challenges to the forefront of so many discussions with staff and community throughout the Pathfinder engagement phase, across Fermanagh and West Tyrone, a new Mini Medical School is certainly visionary thinking and will blend seamlessly into an overall Workforce strategy for building careers of the future in Health and Social Care in the area.

Hannah Gillespie, Western Trust Academic Foundation Training Junior Doctor at the hospital who organised the three day programme said: “We are delighted to welcome 22 local Year 13 students from Fermanagh who have just completed their AS level exams to our first Mini-Med School this week at the South West Acute Hospital. During the intensive three-day programme, students will be shadowing junior doctors across the hospital, learning clinical skills and finding out what it’s like to be a medical student. We hope this will encourage our talented young people to pursue a career in healthcare and comeback to work in this wonderful hospital in the future!”

Professor Ronan O’Hare, Western Trust Assistant Director for the South West Acute Hospital and Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex said: “This is a valuable opportunity for local students to engage with professional staff to gain a greater understanding of the range of careers available within medicine at the South West Acute Hospital. Hannah and our junior doctors at the hospital are to be commended for giving up their time to ensure that the students get hands-on experience of working with our medical, nursing and allied health profession staff in a variety of wards and departments.  This will also help students prepare for their interviews for their chosen university in Autumn.”

Kieran Downey, Deputy Chief Executive of the Western Trust and lead Director for the Pathfinder Project, commented “This is a fantastic initiative. On our Pathfinder engagement journey we heard over 2,500 voices, at over 70 venues throughout Fermanagh and West Tyrone, and our Workforce was very much to the fore in all our discussions, ranging from how we could attract staff in many disciplines to how we could encourage young people from the area to pursue a career in health and Social Care in the future. The launch of the new Western Trust Heroes campaign has been a fantastic platform to begin this process and through Pathfinder, as part of this we are also launching a new Future Heroes campaign aimed at both primary and post primary schools. This latest initiative by the Medical Education Department is exactly the type of visionary thinking and action which can lead to enhancing workforce and creating greater sustainability in our services into the future”.