A student doctor from Bolton was inspired to study medicine after seeing the support medics gave to her sister. 

Sumayyah Atcha, 18, a first year University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student said the surgeons who intricately operated on her sister Sharifa’s spina bifida inspired her to follow in their footsteps.

Sumayyah is one of the two inductees of UCLan’s Livesey Scholarship – which aims to get more people from under-represented backgrounds into university.

And the former Bolton Muslim Girls’ School pupil, who impressed with an essay detailing fetal treatments of her younger sister’s condition, has attributed her motivation for study to being in an hospital environment frequently when visiting Sharifa, who has a lifelong condition.

 Sumayyah said: “Visiting hospital to see my sister and living with my late grandparents, allowed me to interact and see different teams and their roles leading to a specialty that particularly struck an interest, surgery.

“The ability of the surgeons to intricately repair the spine of my sister and limit nerve damage is something that has stuck by me since the age of 11 and is a continuing driving force even whilst in medical school.”

Sumayyah enrolled onto the Livesey medicine pathway, a five-year degree, whilst at Runshaw College and was assigned a student mentor from UCLan to assist with her studies.

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The Livesey Scholarship covers the cost of all five years of tuition fees, easing the financial burden on students.

Sumayyah added: “The financial consequences of studying degrees can be substantial for low-income families, especially those that are lengthy, and can factor in and compromise whether they choose to study in a particular area that they have continuously worked for.

“I know that was the case for me and can be for so many others so the fact that the medical school have the ability to fund and offer supplementary support to those who need it is something I will be eternally grateful for.”

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