Lilian Stock, Final year medical student

Lilian returned to education after caring for her mother

Tell us about your experience of getting into medicine

I took a rather long and non traditional route to medicine but was determined to make it into the career of my dreams. I didn’t sit A levels and left school after my GCSEs with very mediocre grades (not a single A!). I was a carer for my mother as a young person and after this for a few years but due to family

relocation I was able to return to education. Initially I was very nervous about this and lacked confidence in my ability to succeed at a college course, let alone a high flying career. I feel this was especially due to coming from a working class family where no one had been to university, let alone medical school!

However I decided then that there was nothing more rewarding to me than pursuing a career where I’d be able to help others in their most difficult moments and in a role that makes decisions that would lead to them being cared for in the best way possible. I did an access course at college that allowed me to apply to a HNC which had a link with the university of St Andrews, specifically for individuals underrepresented in Medicine. I completed my pre clinical years there and am now completing my clinical time in Edinburgh.

What is being a doctor (or med student) like?

It’s an amazing experience, you truly get to see the best in people and the worst in people but you also see the best and worst of yourself through the successes and challenges you face on a daily basis. The best way to describe medical school is a a marathon, if you pace yourself and try to enjoy yourself along the way you’ll have the best sense of achievement at the end of it.