Medical School celebrates the success of its Class of 2020 before they enter the NHS workforce

30 April 2020

Medical School celebrates the success of its Class of 2020 before they enter the NHS workforce

Today Hull York Medical School will celebrate the success of its Class of 2020 at a virtual graduation celebration event.

Over 100 students have graduated early from the School’s MB BS Medicine programme, and the event will provide opportunity for the School to celebrate their achievements before they commence work as Junior Doctors in NHS Trusts across the region and beyond.

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of the Medical School and a GP herself says:

Today represents the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication which started long before coming to Medical School. I am delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2020, alongside my colleagues and our NHS partners who have supported them on their journey.

Dr Jacob Mercer Holland is one of the Class of 2020 whose achievements will be celebrated at the event. He says: ‘I am extremely proud to be part of the celebrations today. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to work in some form of public service, but it wasn’t until the age of 15 that I distinctly remember deciding that I wanted to be a doctor. At the age of 6 my father was diagnosed with Leukaemia and was only able to survive due to the development of imatinib, a groundbreaking drug in the development of targeted cancer therapy.  And at the age of 10 my gran underwent major heart surgery.  Later in my childhood my grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and during the latter stages of his illness I became involved in his care.  As a result, of these experiences I became aware of the difference that healthcare professionals can make to people’s lives and this is what inspired me to become a doctor.

Jacob goes on to say: ‘I am grateful for the support of staff across the school, from clinical and academic tutors to student liaison and support colleagues, who have shared their knowledge and inspired and supported me and my classmates as we progressed through Medical School Hull York Medical School is a strong and supportive community and from my very first day I have felt welcomed into that community and made to feel at home.’

‘Each of us will leave with Hull York Medical School with our own story of our time here, our own friendship groups, our own memories, but all united by our shared experiences as part of the Hull York Medical School community.  And at a time like this of global crisis, I think it really becomes apparent how much communities matter.’

The graduation celebrations are particularly significant this year, as many of the School’s graduates will be joining the workforce early - taking up interim posts at hospitals across the region to help the NHS build capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jacob is one of those who will be entering the workforce early and joining Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as a Foundation interim Year 1 doctor. He says: ‘The decision to apply to start work early was not one that I took lightly, but equally was not one that I struggled to make.  Having spent the last 6 years of my life in training and learning how to help people in need, at this time when help is needed most, I feel it is not only my duty, but also my pleasure to be able to contribute to the amazing effort being put in by everyone from doctors and nurses, to cleaners, delivery drivers, shop keepers and indeed everyone who is contributing something to their community during this time of crisis.’

Dr Amika McCulloch is another of the School’s graduates who will be joining the NHS workforce early. She says: ‘I chose to study medicine because my mother is a nurse. I grew up seeing the impact of her care on patients' lives, and I wanted to join a profession that could allow me to do the same. I was the first person in my family to ever go to University, and thus I have found my time at Hull York Medical School both challenging and inspiring, and I could not have made it to graduation without the support of my family and the friends that I have made during my time here. I have chosen to start work early as an FiY1 to try to help in any way possible against the current pandemic and am both excited and apprehensive about starting my career as a junior doctor in the coming weeks.’

Chris Long, Chief Executive of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust gave his own congratulations to the School’s Class of 2020. He says: ‘We are proud to work in partnership with Hull York Medical School and it has been a pleasure to support the Class of 2020 as they have progressed through medical school. Like their peers across the UK, medical students are entering the NHS during unprecedented times, but there is no greater privilege than serving patients and communities and they are entering an honorable profession. I would like to congratulate students on their achievements and look forward to welcoming them as junior doctors over the coming weeks and months.’

Simon Morritt, Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says: ‘Junior Doctors are some of the unsung heroes of healthcare and they are joining the NHS at a time when it has never needed doctors more than it does today. We are extremely proud of our strong partnership with the Medical School. Together we are able to provide students with exceptional medical education and the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. We look forward to welcoming many of them as junior doctors at hospitals across our Trust over the coming weeks and months and are confident that they will make a lasting, and positive impact on healthcare in our region and beyond’.

Hull York Medical School was established in 2003. A partnership between the Universities of Hull and York, its flagship MB BS Medicine programme was developed in response to a severe shortage of doctors within the Yorkshire and Humber region. A focus on problem-based learning led by clinicians, early and sustained clinical exposure, and communication skills training ensures that Hull York graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide a high standard of patient care. Since it was established, the School has trained over 1600 doctors, with many of these now working as GPs, Psychiatrists and Consultants in a range of specialties across the region.

Professor Macleod adds: ‘Since day one we have been committed to delivering exceptional medical education and on working in partnership with our NHS Trusts to ensure our students develop the critical knowledge and skills they need to succeed as doctors. Our Medicine students, like their peers across the UK, are about to start their careers during unprecedented times. Now more than ever before our NHS needs confident, compassionate, exceptional doctors who are focused on delivering high quality patient centred care. As our students take up their FiY1 and FY posts the Medical School will continue to support them on their journey and they will remain part of our community. I am confident that they will go on to make a real difference to patients in their care and am extremely proud of them all.’

The online Graduation Celebration event will take place on 30 April at 2pm. To join the live event follow the link below: