Reach made the difference in applying to medicine

I’m Alice Holden, a third year medical student at Aberdeen University and I’m originally from a little village outside Fort William on the west coast of Scotland.

Studying medicine is something that appealed to me at a fairly young age, which may sound cliché, but through  various experiences  in my life I became aware of the differences healthcare professionals can make to people’s lives, sparking an interest that would continue to develop throughout my time at school.

Medicine however is a notoriously competitive course to be accepted onto and this wasn’t something that had escaped my attention. Coming from such a rural area, nobody from my school had been accepted for medicine in five years and this made the task of getting in seem even more impossible; with no one to talk to about the application process I felt a bit disadvantaged.  Organising work experience was also difficult; coming from a small town meant issues of confidentiality initially prevented me gaining the experience I needed and nobody in my family was medically connected.

Thankfully for me however Aberdeen University’s Reach programme helped me immensely to achieve my dream of securing a place at medical school. I attended Reach run events such as ‘So you want to be a Dr?’ which supplied me with so much information on applying. I was also given the opportunity of going on a work experience placement in Raigmore hospital in Inverness, where I got to meet real patients and reaffirm my commitment to one day hopefully becoming a doctor.

Since I was accepted in 2013, two more students each year from my school have been accepted to study medicine at university and I can’t emphasise enough how much Reach programme has helped with this and how grateful I am for the amazing opportunities I was given through Reach. I’m so delighted and thankful to have a place at medical school and this year I’m involved with Reach run events to hopefully pass on the support I received.


Find out how Reach works and the difference it is making to widening access to the professions.