2020/21 - The Good, The Bad and The Year In Review

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Welcome everyone to the SIMA blog and our first blog post! It is my pleasure to open our series of blogs as President, using this opportunity to recap on the great year we have had, despite the difficulties with the online transition.

Our traditional SIMA year begins as you may all know with the SIMA UCAT event, providing students with the opportunity to hear from our top medics and dentists regarding how to tackle each section of the dreaded exam. This year, however, began differently. We used this opportunity to redesign the SIMA brand, introducing a logo more connected to the country and professions we represent and one which we hope will become iconic in the years to come. Another new for this year was the introduction of our shiny new SIMA website, the host of our event recordings, all our event ticketing, this blog, and more! To create a strong community base for SIMA and grow our initiatives further, we introduced the SIMA membership scheme, keeping the price low (£3), ensures accessibility for everyone interested and allows us to grow our family without enlisting everyone as a committee member!

SIMA logo

Now that we have covered the new and shiny, let us get back to our events! Our UCAT Crash Course began our widening participation year with a bang, with the online format allowing a wider reach to students across the UK. Further on, to support students applying for medicine and dentistry, we ran a Personal Statement workshop and a BMAT Crash Course - both new for this academic year! The online nature of our events enabled faster turnaround with publicity, ticketing, and delivery of events - a benefit which may see us continue in this format for some initiatives in future years.

At SIMA, we have always sought to support students through their career paths in medicine and dentistry. This year was no different, with the deliver of our new “Pathways into The Academic Foundation Program” event, alongside our hugely popular Careers Event. We were pleased to receive a fantastic turnout for both events and to host inspirational speakers across the fields of dentistry and medicine. Our audience were undoubtedly left motivated and better informed whether that be regarding the benefits of an AFP program for specialty applications, or the interplay between aesthetic and restorative dentistry.

A highlight of our SIMA academic year has always been the Interview Course. Many our current, previous, and future SIMA committee members attended this event when applying for university and countless other students find huge benefit in accessing an affordable day full of interview practice and top tips from current students. Adamant to deliver this event despite the circumstances, we worked hard to transition the entire day’s schedule to Zoom, including the MMI and panel interviews! The numerous weeks of logistical planning, emailing and test runs, came to fruition with a highly successful event attended by students across the UK. None of this would have been possible without our dedicated volunteers who delivered fantastic interviews and tips, thank you.

Our second term remained exciting with the delivery of our eye-opening event on Iraq and the impact of war and violence on mental health. We were honoured to host a fantastic line-up of speakers who not only delivered an expansive exploration of the topic, but also inspired us with their personal experiences and stories. Following this we enjoyed a competitive evening of Iraqi themed quizzes, rap battles and meme competitions at our annual charity quiz night in support Al-Ayn UK.

It has been a pleasure to lead the organisation this year and with all this happening over the past year, you would think we would be done by now! Fear not, for we have some exciting and high-yield medicine tutorials covering key concepts in clinical medicine coming up. Stay tuned to not miss out and be sure to join our community to get involved!

Yousif, signing out 😴

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