Widening Participation in Medicine: The Impact of Medical Student-Led Conferences for Year 12 Pupils

Ben Ryan, Charlotte Auty, Matthew Maden, Amy Leggett, Alisha Staley, Enam Haque

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Purpose: Individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds are under-represented in the medical profession: confidence is a barrier to them successfully applying to medical school. This study examined the impact of two student-led conferences for Year 12 pupils, at which they had the opportunity to present their work. It looked at the ability of the conferences to improve participant confidence, and the feasibility of its replication by other student-led groups.
Methods: The first, Conference A, had more time and finances invested into it than the second, Conference B. The latter relied solely on university society funding, but utilised WP criteria for selection of participants. Participants identified their confidence in six areas on a ten-point scale, immediately before and after the intervention.
Results: A paired t-test showed a significant improvement (p < 0.01) in all areas of confidence for both conferences. Cohen’s d showed Conference A had larger effect sizes in five out of six areas than Conference B.
Conclusion: This intervention has demonstrated a significant positive impact on participant confidence: a key factor to improve their chance of successful admission to medical school. Supporting participants with their presentations prior to the conference was found to further enhance their confidence. The authors feel that this work could be replicated successfully by other student groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2021


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