The winner of a new annual scholarship to promote greater diversity and social mobility in radiology was announced at a BAME leadership event hosted by Hexarad and St George’s University of London Afro-Caribbean society.
This unique scholarship provides mentorship and research project financial assistance to UK-based Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) medical students looking to explore a career in radiology.
The event featured high-profile speakers from across the NHS, including Dr Aoife Molloy, Clinical lead Evidence based Interventions Programme, Primary Care, Community Services & Strategy Directorate at NHS/I, as well as Dr William Ramsden, Vice President Clinical Radiology, Royal College of Radiologists, and Dr Cindy Chew, Associate Professor of Radiology, University of Glasgow.
The underrepresentation of minorities in radiology has been recognised as a key issue for the field, with calls for more mentorship and career development opportunities[i]. Dr Jaymin Patel, Hexarad Chief Operating Officer and Consultant GI Radiologist at St. George’s University Hospital, comments, “I attended a state school, and although I had great backing from my parents, I really didn’t have any support at all when I decided to apply to study medicine. Getting work experience was a particular struggle, as I had no contacts in the medical world, so I wrote letters to 70 consultants whose names I managed to find – in the end I had just one response.
“The applicants for our scholarship are the next generation of leaders who are going to shape the future of medicine, but they need our support to get there. I know how important having a support network is, so all of our applicants are going to have access to ongoing communication with the core Hexarad team, and we can help them to build up their network and bolster their CVs. We also hope that as we get new applicant cohorts each year, our previous applicants can offer additional support and mentorship, so that we really start to grow a community.”
The 2021 Hexarad scholarship was awarded to medical student Tom Jia, who described the scholarship as, “truly unique in actually being able to help aspiring radiologists, especially those who lack the connections many already have, to break into the field and get involved at such an early stage in their careers.” The runners up were all also invited to attend the event, and will receive ongoing mentorship and support.
Applications for the 2022 Hexarad scholarship will open in January.