The programme was based on the long running I’m a… series of projects including I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here, running since 2008; I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here, running since 2012; and I’m an Astronaut, Get me out of here which ran in 2015–16.
This report summarises the work done and the impact on students, teachers, and healthcare professionals. The intended audience is Health Education England, and potential partners looking to develop digital healthcare engagement programmes.
- 3 General Practice Zones were run across 2017 and 2018.
- Across the 3 events 878 students logged in from 30 schools across the East Midlands. 78% of students were active on the site (asked a question, took part in a live chat, cast a vote, or posted a comment). The students asked 453 questions, and 750 answers were given. There were 8,256 lines of live chat.
- 22 healthcare professionals engaged with school students, including qualified GPs, trainee GPs, medical students (clinical phases) with an interest in general practice, practice nurses, practice managers, and nurse practitioners.
- Taking part helped students to clarify their decisions on whether to follow a career in healthcare. Students learnt about the range of careers and courses available, about how medics work, how to apply for jobs and skills needed, and about the lives of healthcare professionals.
“I was able to ask any questions concerning specific areas of healthcare and gain knowledge about studying medicine at University, tips about interviews as well as generally working within the NHS (specifically as a doctor)” — Student, post-event survey
“It strengthened their aspirations to get into that career or it made them realise the true aspects of the job and changed their minds.” — Teacher, post-event interview
- Teachers valued the project: 95% of teachers who responded to the post-event survey said they would take part again. Teachers highlighted the value of contact with real and engaging healthcare professionals, enthusiasm and engagement from the students, the range of careers represented, and the motivation for students to pursue healthcare careers.
“Students are definitely more aware of the different careers. They were amazed that professionals were willing to speak to them and if we were not limited with ICT support, I would have encouraged more classes to participate. Of those who took part, more are speaking about healthcare as a possible career” — Teacher, post-event interview
- Healthcare professionals commented on how taking part rejuvenated their passion for their careers.
“Taking part was beneficial in that I enjoyed the chance to engage with young people and give then insight into the realities of the career. Their questions and enthusiasm also did a lot to remind me why I am inspired and enthusiastic about medicine, which was great as it can be easy to forget! The events did give me confidence to do more like this and look at other ways I could promote healthcare careers that I might not have engaged with before.” — Healthcare professional, post-event interview
- £1,500 in prize money was awarded to winning healthcare professionals. Each winner was given £500 to be spent on projects with schools, further extending the reach of the I’m a Medic project.