Preparing Students for Medicine at MPW Cambridge
With many of our staff having themselves successfully attended Cambridge University as a student, PhD student or post-doctorate, our ties with Cambridge University are traditionally strong. At this point in time, one of our Directors of Studies, Frankie Frangeskou, is also a current Cambridge University student, studying for his MEd at Homerton College.
We keep in touch with the latest admissions processes and requirements, as well as how university interviews are changing and developing year on year. Through various personal contacts, our team enjoys first-hand insight from admissions tutors and lecturers at many of the University’s colleges and departments.
This is particularly true for Medicine. At MPW, we are always at the forefront of the latest developments, be it the application processes, selection criteria or interview formats. These include Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) and stations, at Cambridge, across the UK and even for specialist courses abroad.
As a result, our prospective medical students continue to be extremely well supported – and subsequently very successful. Historically, MPW has always had an outstanding success rate with medical applications, and this includes our re-take students. In addition, we have for many years successfully supported a number of one-year students. These tend to be students who have completed their A levels with straight A grades, but have only in their upper sixth year decided that Medicine is the career path they wish to pursue. Having proven their academic potential already, they face the issue of not having chosen the set of subjects that Medicine requires. These students tend to come to MPW to study at least Chemistry A level, in some cases accompanied by Biology and Maths.
What do universities look for in medical applicants? Of course students need top grades in Sciences and Maths for a successful application. But the interview and selection process goes much further than that. What medical schools want need to know: is the student committed, and does the student know exactly what a career in medicine entails? Would they make a good colleague, generally and in pressured situations? And are they scrupulous?
Starting with the UCAS application process, all students at MPW, regardless of university course, receive 1:1 advice, in particular for writing their personal statements to answer these very questions, tailored to each degree. For Medicine in particular, students are further guided towards work placements and other extra-curricular activities which maximise their exposure to the medical profession, all invaluable experiences to help them secure their place.
However, it is the interview that is the entry into Medicine as a career. In order to prepare students for these challenging and ever-changing interviews, we provide candidates with specialist interview practice. In line with our ethos, this support is provided on an individual basis, tailored to each student and their particular strengths and weaknesses. They are provided with in depth feedback both verbally as well as in writing, and offered multiple sessions to maximise their confidence. This interview practice is delivered by medical professionals who have been through the process themselves and who have experience sitting on university selection panels.
Dr Elizabeth Wheater, herself an alumna of MPW Cambridge who went on to study postgraduate Medicine at Cambridge and is now a Registrar in Acute Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, is one of our specialists who provide this support and coaching. Elizabeth says, “I studied Medicine at Cambridge and was lucky enough to have had mock interviews organised for me by MPW. I am almost certain I would not have become a doctor without this support.” Elizabeth is therefore not merely one of our professionals that support our students with first-hand knowledge and insight from one of the world’s leading universities, but also an active and supportive alumni. Our strong alumni community, comprising former students as well as parents of former students, reflects on our community spirit and long-lasting friendships that are often forged here.
Being a good doctor is about integrity, interest in the human condition and resilience. A career in Medicine is therefore a demanding one. MPW has a long-standing tradition of guiding students along the path towards success, equipping them with the academic skills and personal strengths required to fulfil their ambition.