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Inspiring Portsmouth’s medics of the future

May 9, 2024

Medic Talk

Four local education providers have joined together with consultant gastroenterologist and founder of The Dr Mike King Trust, Dr Manish Patel, to create a unique careers development programme for local aspiring medics.

The Trust, which was set up in memory of the late Dr Mike King, a former Consultant Radiologist at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, offers prospective medicine applicants the support and guidance needed to navigate the application process.

The programme, which aims to support local students with medical school applications, is a collaboration between the Trust, City of Portsmouth College, HSDC, Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College and Portsmouth Grammar School, addressing the gap in medicine applications found in the local and surrounding areas. The programme empowers young students from underrepresented groups to successfully navigate the medicine application process.

The programme kickstarted at HSDC’s Havant Campus on Monday 25 March 2024, where 42 students from local education providers were able to hear more about the trust and the programme, whilst also having the opportunity to listen to the journeys of several inspirational local medical professionals who were able to give students a realistic overview of what it would be like to work within the profession.

Each guest speaker informed the attendees of a range of routes they could take once qualified, from working as a GP in a local practice to working as a Civilian Medical Practitioner in the Army and Navy, giving students lots of inspiration for their future careers. There was a chance for questions as well as lots of information around the complex interview process. 

Founder of The Doctor Mike King Trust, and the creator of the ‘Getting into Medicine’ programme Dr Manish Patel, who currently works as a Consultant Gastroenterologist in Portsmouth said:

“The ‘Getting into Medicine’ programme is not just about academic success it is about the work of the Dr Mike King Trust, supported by a collaboration of education providers in Portsmouth. The Trust has successfully supported many candidates in getting into medical school over the past five years. I look forward to working with students from across the Partnership providers.” 

Katy Quinn, City of Portsmouth College Principal and CEO, said:

“It’s fantastic to be involved with such an inspirational programme from its very inception. We’re already seeing an increasing focus on the whole of the health and social care sector as it’s such a huge area of growth nationwide. To support this, we’ve invested in a whole new healthcare training suite and we’ll be continuing to work closely with Portsmouth City Council and Queen Alexandra Hospital to play our part in helping the people of Portsmouth and the wider region.”

Mike Gaston, Principal & CEO of HSDC added:

“The recent launch of the ‘Getting into Medicine’ programme at HSDC, spearheaded by Dr. Manish Patel, is truly inspiring. Seeing students from a diverse range of local schools and colleges benefitting from the programme’s interactive workshops is a testament to its impact. These workshops not only provided invaluable insights into the medical field but also ignited a passion for medicine among local students from various backgrounds.”

The next session was held at Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College on Monday 22 April 2024, where students were able to hear from five local doctors whilst also getting the opportunity to ask them any questions that they feel may help and support their journey.

Speaking at Oaklands Sixth Form College, Dr Manish Patel added:

“This is the beginning of an exciting journey for these students in their ambition to become the next generation of doctors. With the shortage of doctors both nationally and locally, the work of the Dr Mike King Partnership has never been more important”.

Books given out during the session

The experiences that students gain through the work of the Dr Mike King Trust will be invaluable in their applications to medical school. Tonight, the students had the opportunity to hear the stories of five GPs and their different routes into medicine.”

Matthew Quinn, Headteacher at Oaklands Catholic School added:

“The Sixth Form at Oaklands Catholic School is really excited to be involved in the ‘Getting into Medicine’ programme. The brilliant opportunities this opens for students are already having an impact, with an unprecedented number successfully applying for highly competitive medical courses across a range of providers.

As well as the invaluable practical advice and experience, our students tell us that they really value the support and encouragement offered by Dr Manish Patel and his colleagues. We are looking forward to helping extend the fantastic opportunities offered by the ‘Getting into Medicine’ programme and developing the much-needed medical talent of the future.”

David Wickes, Head of The Portsmouth Grammar School added:

“Supporting our aspirant medics is a key element of our Sixth Form programme, so being a partner in this strong city initiative is important to us. Every year pupils from The Portsmouth Grammar School go on to study a variety of medical disciplines at universities across the country, joining alumni who have long followed a similar path.

We were founded by Dr William Smith, physician to the Portsmouth Garrison, nearly 300 years ago, so careers in medicine have always inspired our pupils and by being part of this new motivational programme we hope to inspire pupils from across the city to consider a career in medicine. We are looking forward to continuing our work with The Dr Mike King Trust and with Dr Manish Patel and his colleagues in particular.”

To find out more about the Dr Mike King Trust, visit:

If you are a college or educational establishment interested in enrolling on the programme, please contact

If you are local and would like to get involved, please contact