The society GEMMS (Graduate entry Medicine Mentoring at Salford) set up by students aims to instil ambition into young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
It is estimated by the British Medical Association that only 4.1% of medical school entrants are from a disadvantaged background.
Salford graduate and co-founder of the GEMMS society, Ross Carroll says: “The initial aim with GEMMS was
to attract students to Salford University from all backgrounds within the local community and beyond.”
“Medicine has always been seen as an elite profession, we wanted to give people a fun and accessible path to become a doctor or for whatever they wish to be within medicine!”
“The society snowballed due to the results we were seeing, it was instilling ambition in everyone on the bio-med course.”
What does the society have to offer?
Students of the society recently hosted a conference at Media City about future health innovation, delivered to medical personnel and students from across the country.
GEMMS aims to give students a chance to demonstrate their skills through opportunities that range from public speaking to work experience.
Professor Niroshini Nirmalan added: “Barriers arise from lack awareness of opportunities and routes to enter the field and the lack of role models.”
“The medical school application process is long and tedious, often students leave it till their final year to start thinking about careers.
“GEMMS enables career planning to start from the very first semester they enter university.”
The Opportunity within the society and support students receive from staff helps them gain the necessary skills to be successful in the industry.
“We do not guarantee work experience opportunities but actively aid and guide students to secure them. GEMMS has currently expanded to cover careers in Medicine, Dentistry and Physician Associate studies.”
What’s next for the society?
The society continues to be a great addition both for the university and the local community as it continues to draw in more members each year.
On the future of the society, Ross said: “GEMMS will continue to challenge and break down the elitist walls within the medical profession and show you don’t need to attend a Russell Group university.”
“We aim to increase the publicity about GEMMS within Salford and aim to make people who thought they didn’t have a chance in medicine believe in themselves.”
GEMMS is continuing to thrive thanks to the structure that is now in place along with the help from Professor Niroshini Nirmalan, Dr Sara Namvar, and Dr Dave Greensmith who are the key members of staff who support the society.
More information about GEMMS can be found through The University of Salford and the Biomedical-Science course.