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Left to right: Kevin Hilemichael and Hosen Ojora

Two ASFA students win funding to pursue careers in medicine

The students at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi will take part in the InvestIn Young Doctor Programme

Posted by Lucinda Reid | March 02, 2018 | People, policy, politics

Two students from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) have won national bursaries to help them pursue a career in medicine.

Kevin Hilemichael and Hosen Ojora, both 15, received full bursaries to attend and take part in the InvestIN Young Doctor Programme, a prestigious course aimed at giving students a wholehearted experience of life in the medical profession.

The two Year 11 students at the Kensington academy are passionate about pursuing a career in medicine and gaining as much experience as possible before medical school.

Medicine is one of the world’s most prestigious and highly-regarded professions and one of the most competitive: there are around 65,000 applications to medical school each year for fewer than 7,000 places.

The bursary now gives both the opportunity to learn from high-ranking UK doctors, undertake hands-on experience and maximise their chance of gaining admission into a top medical school.

Aspiring doctor Kevin Hilemichael is from Eritrea in northeast Africa and arrived in England just five years ago with little English skills. Since starting at ASFA in Year 8, Kevin has learnt English and is now on course to achieve grade nines in his GCSE subjects – the new grade introduced last year to recognise the very highest performing students.

The bursary awarded by InvestIN provides both students with an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on work experience and increase their knowledge of the medical profession

15-year-old Hosen Ojora has been at the academy since Year 7 and has always dreamed of pursuing a career in medicine. Hosen is currently studying his GCSEs and is predicted grades 7-9.

In February, Assistant Headteacher Kate Sedgwick and lead teacher for the academically more able (AMA) Hannah Baylon accompanied the two future doctors to the University of Manchester, where the Young Doctor Programme took place.

During the day, the two students attended Q&A sessions, listened to lectures by surgeons and psychiatrists, and practised key tasks such as examining a patient’s x-ray, discussing diagnoses and suturing (stitching up wounds).

Kevin and Hosen even took part in an ‘Hour in A&E’, a practical session where they were presented with case studies of possible patients and problems and ultimately had to decide what treatment to assign.

Kate Sedgwick said: “Kevin and Hosen both aspire to be doctors and have been very keen to get as much experience as possible. We found the InvestIN Young Doctors Programme, learnt out about the bursaries they offer and thought it would be a perfect opportunity for our students. Kevin and Hosen were delighted when they found out they had been awarded the bursary as it means they can focus on their future ambitions without the worry of financial costs.”

Both students will now have access to the programme’s alumni platform, where they can access advice, guidance and support to coach them towards achieving their career ambitions.

Reflecting on the day, student Kevin Hilemichel said: “I found the day really enjoyable as it has given me an insight into what medicine is really about and how much work ethic is required to succeed at medical school. Thank you to InvestIN for organising such an inspirational programme.”

Tracey Greenough, Head of School at ASFA, added: “We are delighted to support Kevin and Hosen on their path to becoming doctors. Both are talented, ambitious students who have overcome many obstacles and personal challenges to pursue this career path.”

“The bursary awarded by InvestIN provides both students with an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on work experience and increase their knowledge of the medical profession. We are so proud of them and are very excited to watch their journey,” said Tracey.

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