Students on Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form’s highly successful Pre-Med programme were pleased to meet with former student Cathleen Rowan who is in her last year of Med School, to find out what is involved to become a doctor.

The College has an enviable reputation for excellence in the sciences and is a nationally recognised STEM Assured Centre. With highly trained and experienced staff, many of whom are examiners and scientists in their own right; the College is well placed to teach the next generation of health professionals. The College has also developed and perfected its unique Pre-Professional Programme for Medicine (Pre-Med).

This exciting and challenging extra-curricular course, offered in addition to a student’s regular studies, provides extra support and guidance for those who want to apply to highly competitive degree programmes such as medicine, veterinary sciences and dentistry. Pre-Med students are able to visit a variety of local and national experiences and places of interest, and industry experts are often invited in to talk to the students about the precise nature and requirements of a career in medicine.

The students were recently visited by former student Cathleen Rowan, who completed her A Levels at the College in 2009 and who then went on to Cardiff University to read Medicine. Cathleen, a former student of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School, looks forward to graduating this summer and will then take up a post working as a junior doctor in hospitals in Sheffield and Barnsley over the next two years.

The theme of Cathleen’s visit was effective team working. Cathleen shared a well-documented case study, where poor team work led to a very negative patient outcome and how this case led to changes in how healthcare teams operate to minimise human error impacting on patient wellbeing. Cathleen also talked about the ups and downs of her five years as a medical student and her recent exciting experience working as a volunteer in a rural hospital in Nepal. She promised to make a return visit next year to discuss life as a junior doctor.