Congratulations to Cirencester College alumni Christine Cadman who recenty featured in an edition of ‘The Doctor’, a national magazine for members of the British Medical Association (BMA).
Journalist Tim Tonkin looked at the efforts being made by universities to widen participation of students entering into the medical profession. He talked to a number of student doctors who have themselves had to overcome some of the toughest social barriers to enter the profession.
Christine attended the College between 2014 and 2016 taking A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. Christine also took an active part in the ‘Vets, Medics and Dentists’ tutorial programme at Cirencester College which supports those students entering such a competitive environment. Christine is now in her 3rd year at Bristol University.
This is Christine’s story (extract from ‘The Doctor’ magazine September 2019):
“Bristol medical student Christine Cadman feels that the personal adversities she has faced could help give her more perspective when she comes to qualify as a doctor.
She decided to pursue medicine aged 19 having spent several years in care and, at age 15, being hospitalised for a number of years owing to her mental health. She had been able to take her English language and maths GCSEs while still in year nine and while in hospital was able to complete exams in biology, chemistry and physics.
She says she was inspired to go into medicine by one of the doctors she encountered while in treatment. ‘One of my consultants was a lovely man who always said to me: “You’re so clever, you could be a doctor one day,” but at the time I was just not interested,’ she says. ‘When I was getting ready to leave hospital everyone around me was telling me that I needed a goal, and so I decided I was going to try.’
Christine was discharged from hospital at 18, sent to a care home and then on to an education unit where she was told that it wouldn’t be possible for her to study chemistry or biology at A-level. Through sheer determination she was able to persuade her care home to send her to a college where she could take the necessary subjects.
After completing her A-levels at the age of 20, she secured a place at Bristol university and is in her third year. She credits her attendance at widening participation summer schools with her successful application to medical school. She feels she had had to fight a near constant battle to persuade those around her that she should be given the chance to study medicine. ‘It was constantly “you’re not going to be able to do this” or “you’re not that sort of person”,’ she says. ‘If it was not for my college, who were amazing and did everything they could to help me get there, I probably wouldn’t have gone into medicine.
‘A career in medicine shouldn’t be just for the advantaged. Not everyone has a conventional route into medicine and that’s OK – these struggles can in fact prepare you for the things you will face every day as a doctor.”
To find out more about getting into medicine, come along to our Open Evening on Thursday 6 February 2020 between 5pm and 8pm or our High Achievers’ Academy Information Evening on Wednesday 4 March, 2020 between 6pm and 7.30pm.