John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile twenty seven

I have just finished my first year as a medical student at Liverpool University. Before I attended university I attended St. Julie's Catholic High School and Sixth Form were I was Head Girl. I studied Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Physics A levels and Further Maths as an AS level. My results were A*AAAb.  During the two years of my sixth form I also worked part time in a fashion store and volunteered for a year at a hospital.

Since the death of my father, who died of cancer, I wanted to help families avoid the grief associated with the premature death of a loved one. Originally I wanted to be a dentist in order to spot the signs of mouth cancer early and improve the survival rate of patients but after spending a few weeks work experience with a dentist I did not enjoy it as the relationship between the patient and the dentist did not appeal to me. I decided to become a doctor and spent a week doing work experience in hospital in order to confirm this was what I wanted to do.

I received offers from both Manchester and Liverpool Medical Schools but chose Liverpool as you get your first patient contact quite early in Year 2, which in my opinion is crucial to become a good doctor. Book knowledge is just not enough! Staying in Liverpool also allowed me to continue living at home.  

St. Julie's Sixth Form was quite small and most of the pupils in my year had been at St. Julie's with me since year 7 and I had the same teachers for most of time I spent there, so it was a big change attending university.

My course consists of lectures once a day but the main way of teaching is by Problem Based Learning (PBL). In PBL sessions we are given a scenario and have to 'make sense' of it by finding trigger words within the scenario and setting objectives for the group to go away and prepare for next session, in which we discuss our objectives. I found this quite difficult at first as there was no indication of how much depth to go into but after a few modules you learn how much is needed and what is realistic if you only have two weeks per module. I was also provided access to the Human Anatomy Resource Centre which provided me with prosections of cadavers so I could learn anatomy through a hands on approach and also appreciate the variation from person to person.
I had Clinical Skills sessions once a week for two hours, I really enjoyed this. We would practice on models and on each other the skills we would need to perform as second year medical students in the hospital e.g. how to take a blood pressure or give an injection and most importantly how to wash our hands effectively because the most important thing is not making ill people sicker. The element of the course I enjoyed the most was Communication Skills as having a good relationship with your patient and knowing what sort of questions to ask will help you get a more comprehensive history and so help greatly to diagnose. We practiced with simulated patients who were actors and all gave constructive feedback to each other.

When I first started my learning I would write copious notes then not even use them when revising and so wasted a lot of time.  I realised that what I needed was just to read the books and highlight the most important points. Because I could not highlight the library books I had to buy a lot of books and the John Moran Educational Trust helped me with the cost of this.   There was also another advantage to having my own books as there was only around 20 of each book and with 300 on the course, it was pretty much first come first served. Also as a medical student I am expected to travel all around the city to hospital and GP placements from year 2 and above. The travel time when using public transport would decrease my learning time so The John Moran Trust has helped towards funding my driving lessons.

I am really grateful for receiving this award as it has helped me so much this first year and know it will help me through the following years. As a medical student you are advised not to get a job and my mother does not have the financial means to support me through five years of training and so with no money worries I can fully concentrate on my studies without any stress or distractions, thanks to The John Moran Educational Trust.

I have now finished my second year of university as a medical student. This year I have been on placement at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral. I really enjoyed this placement as it gave me a view of what working in a hospital would be like and we had many lectures from Junior Doctors who were keen to offer advice about our future careers. I also got to sit in a variety of clinics and attend ward rounds and watch operations closely. It gave me more of an idea of what speciality I would like to become a Consultant in. The John Moran Award really helped with my travel costs for my placement which cost £5 a day on a bus 2 days a week with no help from the university at all. I also had a block of 6 weeks in a GP surgery, also situated in the Wirral, which I think I enjoyed the most, as I am seriously considering going into General Practice and becoming a GP as I prefer the relationship with the patient to that of the one hospital doctors have with their patients.

I also used some of the Award money to attend a Career Conference as we do not get help with this from university until 3rd or 4th year and by then we have already missed out on a lot of opportunities that could help in our career such as which Special Study Modules to select. It appears that each speciality prefers relevant modules. This obviously has implications for future jobs and was something I was unaware of until I attended one of these conferences.

After travel, the biggest cost this year was books. Once you have started to learn about diseases there are so many angles to cover including pathology, treatment and pharmacology and clinical skills. Many books were needed as well as good revision materials. There is a big waiting lists for some books at the library and by the time you have access to them you have progressed to your next module. The award money helped me purchase some of these materials which in turn helped me with my time keeping, reducing stress and helping me to work more efficiently, which helped me pass the year.

I have now completed my 3rd year of medical school. It was a busy year as the curriculum is all about the specialities of medicine and so there was a lot to learn. I was sent to a number of different hospitals around Liverpool including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the Walton Centre and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital; as well as a GP surgery in Kirby. The award helped a lot with the travel to these sites and to places such as the Christopher Grange Centre for Visual Impairment and the Heswall Day Centre for people with learning disabilities.

There are never enough textbooks to go around and it is important to keep on top of the work and also read about a certain speciality before attending the clinic, so waiting for a library book to be returned is difficult and could make you fall behind (or look lazy in clinic when a doctor is asking you questions). The Award helped me purchase the essential textbooks for paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry and neurology, all of which helped me pass my exams with high marks and will help me become a competent doctor. I was also able to attend three revision workshops throughout the year which improved my core knowledge and exam technique.

With the help of the John Moran Educational Trust I am now more than halfway through my course and finals are only one year away and I know the support of the Trust has helped me achieve high marks in my exams so far and with their continued support I will keep achieving throughout my time at university.

I have just learned that I passed my Finals!!  Thank you so much to the John Moran Educational Trust.  Their support for me this year has been amazing, and I am very grateful.

This year was my 4th year at Medical school and it has been a long, hard year.  My placement was in Arrowe Park Hospital which involved four days a week in hospital and one in a GP surgery from the 27th August to the end of June, then only having three weeks off for exams .  I had to complete another placement in Alder Hey for five weeks, which I don’t finish until 1st August!  Eleven months of non -stop work was difficult but it is slowly preparing me for the world of work.

I was very lucky to receive an additional two years funding from the Trust. In order to secure this funding it was necessary for me to be interviewed by the Trustees.  However, my second interview was much more relaxed as I had got to know the Trustees a little better at an evening which was held to celebrate ten years since the Trust’s inception.  The money has helped me a lot this year with travel costs, revision books and revision courses.  I passed my exams with ease with my marks being banded in the top fifteen percent.  This will help me secure a high ranking in the year and that is important as foundation doctors are allocated a position on a points basis, which include my performance over the years compared to the rest of my peers.

The Trust has been amazing and I know how lucky I have been to have received an award.  Next year I have a placement in A&E, Marie Curie hospice, Whiston hospital and the Royal Hospital and in a GP practice.  This will put my knowledge to the test and I will be given a lot more independence, but I know I will do well with the continuing support of the Trust and Trustees.

This student who we have supported for five years and who has faced many challenges, that would have overwhelmed many, has now successfully completed her training as a doctor.