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First students graduate from new UK medical schools & they've already saved a life

Originally Published 09 July 2004

The first students from the recent wave of new UK medical schools graduate on Monday 12th July 2004, and two of them have already saved a patient’s life before they even graduate.

Sally Edwards from Barwell near Hinckley, and Anna Joseph from Newport in Wales are two of the 63 students who will graduate at the University of Warwick as the very first new Doctors to be created at Warwick by the Leicester Warwick Medical Schools. Earlier this year they were leaving Warwick hospital when they encountered the distressed wife of Warwickshire man Matthew O'Connor who had collapsed in the hospital car park. They immediately put their medical training into action and gave him basic life support including chest compressions until an ambulance arrived – essentially saving his life. Mr O’Connor was then taken to Warwick Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.

The two medical students have now successfully completed their degrees and on their graduation day they will also be awarded the first of an annual £100 “Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award ” from their medical school for their prompt action. The award will be presented by Mr O’Connor - the man whose life they saved.

Sally and Anna are graduating from one of the most successful of the new wave of medical schools. The Warwick part of the Leicester Warwick Medical Schools now has 508 students on a 4 year MBChB course for graduate entrants (their first degree must be in the life sciences). That student population is expected to grow to 656 at the Warwick campus and in 2003 the combined intake of the Leicester Warwick Medical Schools was 404, giving Leicester Warwick the largest total intake of all Medical Schools in UK.

Professor Ian Lauder, Dean of the Leicester Warwick Medical Schools said:

"The graduation of the first cohort of Warwick-based students from the Leicester Warwick Medical Schools is a proud day for us all. We wish them all future success in their careers, confident that these new doctors will have a great impact on the health, and healthcare, of countless patients."

Photo Opportunity: There will be an opportunity to photograph Sally and Anna in their robes receiving their Community Award from Mr O’Connor at 2.10pm on Monday 12th July. Photographers should go to the bookshop entrance of the University of the Warwick’s Arts Centre at 2.10pm on Monday 12th July and ask for Peter Dunn.