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Medical initiative hits schools

An initiative aimed at developing interest in the healthcare professions in Scottish youngsters kicked off a local programme in St Andrews this week.

The Working in Health Access Programme (WHAP), led by the five Scottish medical schools, began with the University of St Andrews hosting a round of visits from Fife schools today (Wednesday 27th October).

The local programme has been organised by Schools Project Officer Alice Smith, who is based at St Andrews, one of the partner institutions. The visits to the University’s Bute Medical School consisted of a workshop on ‘Student Life’ – involving St Andrews students – and interactive workshops led by staff from the Bute.

The medical workshops included a look at haematology, diet and health and the function of the lungs.

Alice said: “The visits to the University of St Andrews are the highlight of a series of activities that we run with the school pupils. The interactive activities are fun, informative and, we hope, inspiring: raising the pupils’ awareness of healthcare career options and helping them aspire towards a career in healthcare and, indeed, decide if it is the correct choice for them.¿

The programme will run at the University of St Andrews with Beath and St Columba’s High School visiting today (pictured) and will continue on successive Wednesdays with visits from Auchmuty, Buckhaven and Viewforth High Schools (Nov 3rd) and Glenwood and Kirkcaldy High Schools (Nov 10th).

WHAP is the first programme of its kind and was launched in 2003 to raise awareness of possible careers in the healthcare professions for school pupils in S3. As well as the Scottish medical schools (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews), it involves the collaboration of the Scottish veterinary schools (Edinburgh and Glasgow) and Stirling University Institute of Education.

Funded by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the programme particularly work with schools who do not traditionally send significant numbers into training for the medical or veterinary professions. A two-year programme is available to budding doctors, vets, nurses and chiropodists from S3 to S5, with further help and advice offered on the next steps into chosen professions.

If you are interested in learning more about WHAP please contact: Alice Smith, Schools Project Officer, WHAP, University of St Andrews, 66 North Street, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AJ, email acs5@st-andrews.ac.uk, tel 01334 462352.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: WHAP school visit 251004.doc View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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