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Spotlight on the Students Section

Current President of the RSM Students Section, Miss Bhumi Shah, talks about leading the RSM’s fastest-growing section

“What the RSM provides is a national network of people who are passionate about medicine and making a change. You get to meet a lot of other enthusiastic medical students and that kind of community is something I think you can’t really find elsewhere.”

Currently a fifth-year medical student at the University of Cambridge, Miss Bhumi Shah joined the RSM three years ago to follow her interest in healthcare systems and how they can be improved.

“Students go into medicine to help people and there are some fundamental problems with the systems that we have in health. I think there's a lot of improvement that we could make, and I definitely want to be part of that change.”

She now leads the RSM Students Section with vice-president Mr Dhruv Patel.

Miss Bhumi Shah  
Miss Bhumi Shah

Systematic Review Initiative

Using the RSM’s national reach to engage with the medical student community across the UK is one of the top priorities for Miss Shah, who in 2021 initiated the enthusiastically received Systematic Review Initiative with just that idea in mind.

“We wanted to help students access research opportunities and that’s usually quite a complicated process,” she says. “It’s really dependent on whether your local hospital trust has a lot of research available.”

The project is led by medical students Mr Dhruv Patel and Mr Victor Lu who connect enthusiastic, research-competent medical students from across the country with doctors looking for assistance with systematic reviews currently in progress or at the planning stage.

Students complete a six-week course of teaching on how to go about research. Describing the course, Miss Shah says: “Each week covers a different topic, for example statistics, how to write a paper and how to form a research question. At the end of the course, each student is assigned to a research project.”

Delivering flagship events and new ideas

The Students Section Council is made up of an executive committee together with a student representative from every university in the UK.

Miss Shah says: “We have amazing resources within the Section and have some really dedicated student volunteers. With a committee of 45 people, split into teams focusing on specific events, there are many hands to help us deliver our education for medical students.”

The Section’s flagship event is the Tomorrow’s Doctors conference, where the options for careers in surgery and medicine are explored. Attracting both medical students and trainee doctors, the sold-out 2023 conference takes place at the Royal Society of Medicine during the weekend of 10/11 June.

Networking for medical students

Prizes and essay competitions feature throughout the Students Section programme for the year, together with networking events. “Forming connections and working with other people is always useful, no matter what field you’re in,” she says. “RSM events are great opportunities to meet other medical students as well.”

Access to medical school

The other area of focus for the Section is access to medical school. “We’re lucky enough to have on our committee Mr Lee Fernandes, a founding member of In2Med School, the charity working to level the playing field for disadvantaged school students aspiring to study medicine. He is leading our access initiative, making the most of the RSM community to expand our reach nationally.”

Reflecting on her time as Students Section President, Miss Bhumi, said: “There’s so much the RSM can do for students and trainees and I’ve enjoyed meeting many people through the RSM network and sharing with them the events, resources, and membership benefits on offer through the Society.”

Visit the Students Section for more information, including forthcoming events and how to get involved with the Systematic Review Initiative.

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