I was extremely pleased to find out that I had been selected to be mentored by Dr Hilson under the ALMP scheme. She was my first choice of mentor because of her highly successful career in both clinical and academic medicine, which is something I hope to achieve.
After exchanging emails and speaking on the phone, getting to know each other slightly, we arranged to meet in Birmingham for coffee in late November. We had discussed the possibility of me going to London but with being on a clinical placement it was difficult to arrange a suitable time for us both and it is hoped we will be able to do this at some date in the future. We also discussed what I would like to talk about in the meeting, and decided it would be a good opportunity to review my CV.
During our first meeting we spent time chatting over coffee and biscuits about our respective hobbies and interests and swapped stories of how life is and was a medical student at the University of Birmingham. We found we both share an interest in music and it was great to hear how the MBChB course and being a medical student has changed over time. We then spent time discussing my CV and Dr Hilson made many extremely useful suggestions of how to organise the content more appropriately and make my skills and achievements stand out. We also discussed whether or not I should apply for a fellowship offered by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and how such a scheme would benefit my future career, but also in the way it may have disadvantages if I decided at a later stage I wished to pursue another speciality. This was a particularly useful discussion as until that time I had not considered the negative aspects of the scheme, if I was successful. We also talked about my plans to travel to Rwanda for my medical elective and Dr Hillson was able to give some useful advice as she has also travelled in Africa herself. Finally, we discussed that, whilst it great to take part in lots of extra-curricular activities, it is of paramount importance to ensure I keep my studies for my MBChB my main priority, helping me reach my full potential in my forthcoming exams and as a future clinician.
Overall the meeting was not only extremely useful in a practical sense, it was also really interesting to meet someone who has been through the same experiences and challenges at medical school and can offer advice and perspective on the process. I am very much looking forward to meeting with Dr Hilson again and developing our relationship