Student Assisted Medical and Dental Applications (SAMDA) Volunteering Group


Sign up to volunteer for SAMDA:

Who are we?

We are a student-run society based at Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Our society was founded by Dr Abdul Kamali in 2000 whilst he was a medical student here at Barts! Our society is dedicated to supporting sixth form students in local state schools as they take their first steps towards a career in medicine or dentistry. We help highly motivated students who have the academic potential to achieve the grades for medical and dental school.

What is our aim?

Our aim is to widen participation in medicine and dentistry by providing continuous support through events that give sixth form students an insight into what it is like to study the degree at university. We also provide prospective students with guidance on writing the perfect personal statement as well as preparation for their interviews. Our skills day is another chance for sixth form students to boost their application through active participation in clinical skills as well as obtaining UCAT and/or BMAT preparation.

What does SAMDA involve?

SAMDA consists of events that occur throughout year 12 and year 13 to help aspiring medical and dental students make a strong and informed application.

Activities include:

School visits - a team of current medical and dental students at Barts and The London (BL) will visit a local school to give talks to potential students. Here they can discuss a career in medicine/ dentistry, and in later visits, help the students with personal statements and interviews. Our volunteers will also act as mentors for students, providing tailored guidance and advice for UCAS applications.

Medical skills day - through this event, we prepare sixth-formers for university entrance exams, give personal statement guidance and hold discussions of key interview topics. We also offer students the opportunity to take part in various clinical skills, providing them with a greater insight into the profession and solidifying their application.

Mock interviews - following submission of UCAS applications, we hold mock interviews for sixth-form students, led by BL students themselves. Covering both multiple-mini and panel interviews, this is an excellent opportunity for students to gain invaluable feedback. Some weeks later, sixth form students are given the opportunity to have an interview with a panel of practising clinicians, academic staff and BL students. Our clinician-led interviews are run by the staff who perform actual medical and dental school interviews.

Clinicians’ evening - Every year admissions tutors, clinicians and current students deliver inspirational talks covering life as a medical/ dental student. A talk dedicated to learning about a career in medicine is led by the dean of Barts and The London, Professor Anthony Warrens. Through this event, we also cover important topics such as understanding student finance.

A talk by Professor Parveen Kumar, DBE - former president of the British Medical Association and Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Parveen Kumar is an important figure at Barts and The London and also our staff president. Professor Kumar provides a talk to potential medical and dental students at our annual clinician’s evening to give a greater understanding of the profession.

Why should you join?

SAMDA is an incredible opportunity to give back to society and make a mark on someone's life, all the while having some brilliant experiences. Our success is owing to the hard work and enthusiasm of our committee and volunteers. With 13 committee members and over 100 medical and dental student volunteers, we are very excited to put in place all that we have planned for this year! What more could you want? 

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