News Article

Students Spotlight: KCLSU Volunteer Stories - Paediatric Society

Can you start by telling us about your project, the collaborative conference organised by the KCL Paediatric Society?

Certainly! My Co-Chair Maryam and I began organising the conference in August, working within the KCL Paediatric Society Committee. We collaborated with around 15 core committee members and 4 volunteers interested in Paediatrics. The conference, held on 11 February 2023, had the theme "Milestones to Go: Accessibility and Development in Paediatrics." We invited speakers like Kirsty Brennan, a paediatric surgeon, and Laura Wood, a social paediatrician, who shared insights into paediatric healthcare. Workshops included British Sign Language sessions and paediatric skills carousel, making the event diverse and informative. We also organised workshops for 6th Formers, providing guidance on medical school applications.

What motivated you to organise this conference, and what was the underlying theme?

The KCL Paediatric Society has an annual conference – I felt inspired by the previous year’s one, so I decided to apply as a co-chair. Maryam and I wanted to focus on accessibility and development in paediatric healthcare. We felt these themes were vital and hadn't been explored enough. We also aimed to provide a sustainable context for all the talks, considering the future of paediatric healthcare.

What do you think was the most successful aspect of the conference?

The collaboration with Barts and the London Medical School was a unique and enriching experience. Having two separate days allowed us to explore different perspectives and utilise each university's facilities. The workshops, especially those organised by Barts, were a highlight. It was fascinating to interact with their medical students and learn from their specific niches and expertise.

What advice would you give to inspire other King's students interested in volunteering or organizing events like this?

For volunteering, the KCL Paediatric Society offers various opportunities, including bedside fun, Louis' item, Save a Baby's Life, and Teddy Bear Hospital. These initiatives allow students to engage with children, understand paediatrics better, and contribute meaningfully to the community. If students are interested in organiaing events, joining the society's committee provides a platform to do so. Even if not in the committee, students can volunteer for specific events when positions open.

How has volunteering impacted you personally and professionally?

Volunteering with paediatric societies like Make a Smile sparked my interest in paediatrics. It's an excellent way to assess one's affinity for working with children, which is crucial in this field. Personally, it helped me understand the joy of interacting with kids, while professionally, it clarified my career path toward paediatrics.

What are your plans moving forward? Any upcoming projects or events?

This year, I'm serving as the vice president of the KCL Paediatric Society. We are thrilled about our new Co-chairs who have exciting ideas. We plan to expand our collaborations, aiming for a larger London-wide event. We're also working on another conference scheduled for March 2024. The society continues to offer diverse opportunities, including mentorship schemes, charity events, and academic activities, catering to the interests of all students. You can follow us at @kclspaediatrics to check out our events and opportunities.



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