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Manchester Medical Student Communities Launched

09 Apr 2014

Manchester Medical School is the largest medical school in the UK with around 2,200 undergraduates. Because of both its size and the structure of its courses, students can often feel disconnected from the School and have difficulty meeting fellow students outside of their own learning groups.

Stopes MMSC Launch

Manchester Medical Student Communities was launched in early 2014 to combat these feelings of isolation.  Dr Cathy Holt, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Biology and the School’s Academic Lead for the project said, “The School’s new Student Communities encourages better interaction amongst students and facilitates peer mentoring throughout the course but particularly at transitions points, such as induction and the shift from campus-based study to clinical placements in the NHS.”

There are 18 student communities in total each including a Community Champion, around 20 Academic Advisers, Alumni, Student Lead and Deputy Lead, student Mentors and 20-30 students from each of the five year groups. Dr Holt explains, “Interaction is encouraged across all five year groups and beyond, for example, year 5 students can ask Alumni what it is like working as a foundation doctor and for guidance on career progression.”

As well as face-to-face meetings, a 24/7 online portal, named The Hub, has been developed to enable students to build social and future professional relationships and to share information on their hospital experiences.

With each community choosing a name for itself inspired by someone they feel has made a significant contribution to the advancement of medicine or public health, they have successfully created individual identities for themselves, whilst at the same time fostering a new sense of belonging to the School.

Share the initiative

Dr Cathy Holt was supported by Alexander Drury, Project Manager, and Isabella Fairclough, MMSC Co-ordinator, as well as other staff across the Medical School. They would be happy to share their experiences with other Schools across the University who are interested in either starting or who are already running, similar initiatives.