Wednesday 18th January 2017 marked the launch of the Powerlist Foundation’s Medical Mastermind Group (PFMMG), in the opulent surroundings of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. To celebrate this evening, we were joined by the likes of Ken Olisa OBE (Founding Chairmen of the Powerlist Foundation), Joel Blake OBE (Partner for the Midlands’ Powerlist Foundation Leadership Programme), Veronica Martin (CEO of the Powerlist Foundation), and Miss Joy Odili (the UK’s first black female plastic surgeon).

Towards the end of last year, Veronica and I began working together to set up the PFMMG. The PFMMG, of which I am honoured to be the chair of, is formed up of medical and science students who are alumni from the Powerlist Foundation Leadership Programme. I am medical student at St George’s University of London but I have currently taken a year out to study Global Health at King’s College London. In addition to this, I am working on building a social enterprise called Leanne’s Amazing Medics which aims to inspire, equip, and increase the self-belief of students who want to study medicine and who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The purpose of PFMMG is for the members to grow together personally and professionally. As an extension of the Powerlist Foundation, the Mastermind Group seeks to continue to develop the leadership skills of exceptional students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is of particular importance for the medical field since the medical profession is lagging behind other fields in terms of social diversity. According to this report in the BMA, of the 11,125 students who entered medicine and dentistry in 2011, just 4.1% were from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to this, the 7% of the UK population educated at independent fee-paying schools, make up 22 per cent of medicine and dentistry undergraduates and 51 per cent of the most influential doctors in the profession.

One’s social background should never restrict them from advancing to the top of their profession if they possess the capability to do so. Everyone who is part of the Powerlist Foundation Medical Mastermind Group possesses the potential to be great leaders. And this is not just because of our academic ability, but also because of the characteristics that we share. To be selected for the Powerlist Foundation Leadership course, as well as being academically capable, you have to display qualities such as integrity and compassion; characteristics that all medical professionals should have, as well as exceptional leaders.

The Powerlist Foundation Medical Mastermind Group will therefore allow us to stay connected as future excellent leaders who will be inspired both by each other, but also by the speakers who share their experience and knowledge with us.