Chief Medical Officer launches Primary Futures: Who’s In Health? campaign in Scotland

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer today visited Sciennes Primary School to launch the Primary Futures ‘Who’s in Health?’ campaign to  help young children understand how people in the health sector use literacy, maths and science in their jobs.

Who’s in Health? is a free initiative for state primary schools run by  the Education and Employers charity  in partnership with the Medical Schools Council.  It aims to get people from the healthcare sector to volunteer to go into primary schools and chat informally to children about their jobs.  This is to help the children (aged 7 – 11) see the relevance of what they are learning especially in science, mathematics and English and to broaden and raise their future aspirations.

Volunteers may be hospital doctors, GPs, nurses, ambulance drivers, high street pharmacists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, surgeons, midwives, students and researchers to name just a few.  Volunteers and schools connect via the free online service Primary Futures – localhost

The school children at Sciennes Primary were joined by medical student Callum Cruickshank who is in his 4th year at the University of Edinburgh and founded the “You can be a doctor programme”.  – an online resource to give young people the support and information they need to become a doctor.

Catherine Calderwood told the children in the Schools Science Centre about her medical career and her role as Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. She said:  “Whether you are an obstetrician and gynaecologist like me, a GP, radiographer or psychologist, currently studying or a qualified professional, your talent and enthusiasm can be a fantastic motivator for children.  I’d encourage as many of my colleagues in healthcare to get involved and connect with schools.  I want to ensure we encourage as many young people as possible into hugely rewarding professions, like mine.”

Nick Chambers, Director of charity Employers and Education said: “Many children see certain areas of health, such as medicine, as not an option for them, either because they don’t know anything about it or because they believe that such futures are for other, perhaps more privileged people.  Who’s in health? inspires children and help them see the relevance of what they are learning – to careers in healthcare.  The scheme is aimed at pupils aged 7-11.  It is not necessary to have experience of outreach work with young people.  Signing up only takes a few minutes and from there you will be put in contact with primary schools.”

John Iredale, Regius Professor of Medical Science, Dean of Clinical Medicine and Vice-Principal Health Services said: “Offering opportunities to all of our young people, particularly those who might not otherwise consider higher/university education and ensuring that professions, including medicine, represent all parts of our society is an unambiguous priority for the university and all of the UKs medical schools.”

Scottish Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood has written a blog about taking part in the launch of Primary Futures Who’s in Health? across Scotland.

Read the Scottish Chief Medical Officer’s blog: