What inspired you to launch the society?
We wanted to motivate like-minded students interested in medical and dental professions to have a realistic insight. We started our initial research into aspects of medicine and dentistry through completion of online courses, reading scientific articles and books.
When did it start?
The idea of holding a society was originally planned for the summer of 2020, however, social bubbles and online learning delayed our start. We learnt how to adapt and overcome these issues and chose to launch our society online, via Microsoft teams.
What are the society's aims?
The society aims to inspire and improve the knowledge of like-minded aspiring healthcare students to learn more about these healthcare fields. The members of our society are spread across Years 9-12. We try to bring something for everyone; whether it is broadening their knowledge, helping them explore whether a healthcare career is for them or offering an insight into the application process itself for the year 12 students who are applying to enter a healthcare profession this academic year.
To meet these aims, we came up with a series of talks carried out by ourselves on a weekly basis, alternating talks between dentistry and medicine.
The topics of our presentations have included:
- Medical and Dental application process
- How COVID-19 has impacted dentistry
- The 9 Principles of the General Dental Council.
Occasionally, we have been lucky enough to have guest speakers present at our meetings. Two highlights include a talk on the experiences of a 2nd year dental student currently studying at Queen Mary’s University and one from junior doctor, Dr Katy Owen, on the realities of a career in medicine. Both talks gave pupils a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into these professions from people on the front line and we are really thankful that they were willing to give up their time to talk to us.
Was the society impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown?
During the lockdown of January 2021, when the virtual society meetings occurred, approximately 15-20 members joined. Due to the bubble system, we have been unable to get everyone together as we originally planned, however, we worked around this and whilst the year 12s are able to join us for in person meetings, the other members join us via a Teams call. We look forward to being able to have everyone together soon, but in the meantime, it has been a great opportunity for us to develop of problem solving and improvisation skills!
In the future, we aim to carry on presenting on a weekly basis and we are hoping to welcome more healthcare professionals to give an insight into their career.
“I am amazed at the amount of effort Keashigan and Dhanjot have put into their society. They have been passionate about starting this society for so long and never let the COVID restrictions or lockdown deter them from their goal. The quality of the presentations they put together themselves has been impressive, as has the initiative they have shown in securing guest speakers to present via Teams. They are offering the pupils a fantastic opportunity to learn more about medicine and dentistry and really epitomise what it means to be a Chigwell pupil.” - Dr C Hirst, Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Teacher of Biology