Catch up with Poppy Welsh '16


Where has life taken you since graduating from Meadowridge School?

After graduating in 2016 I had a gap year where I worked as a ski instructor while travelling in New Zealand and Australia. The following year, I started my MBBS programme at The University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. This is a five-year medicine programme, and I am currently in my final year. I was the course representative for two years, as well as the vice-chair of the Radiology Society. Throughout the pandemic I have also been working part-time as a Health Care Assistant in Royal Blackburn Hospital. I have also been involved in both the University and Preston Grasshoppers Rugby clubs.


Left: Playing Rugby for UCLAN Right: In her UCLAN Medical student scrubs


Back when you were a recent graduate, did you know where life would take you?

I had an interest in working in healthcare and wanted to be a doctor from a young age. I always had a passion in caring for people, and an interest in human sciences. Going to the UK to study was something I was really interested in, after immigrating to Canada from England at a young age I always wanted to go back an experience my heritage as well as be close to my family here.     

Medical school is demanding. How do you keep balanced?

Joining a rugby team has been really important for me in managing my stress and the demanding nature of medical school. It allowed me to find a good ‘work-life balance’. Not only is it a physical outlet through exercise, but I have also met so many wonderful people and made some amazing friends. Having regular training and gym sessions, as well as games, keeps me active and organized, allowing me to make the most of my time study time.


Left: Poppy, pictured second row from bottom, with the cast and crew of American Idiot Right: 2016 Graduation portrait


You’ve recently been selected for the prestigious HLA scholarship. Talk to us about the application process and where it takes you.

The Healthcare Leadership Academy is a year-long scholarship which provides funding to a course for the teaching and development of leadership skills, as well as support in developing a personal project. I applied to the HLA as I have always had an interest in Leadership and wanted to further develop these skills. I also have a project idea that I am passionate about, surrounding the curriculum of LGBTQIA+ patients in medical education. The application process initially involved submitting a personal statement, project idea, and a personal introduction video. After the initial selection process, I participated in an interview with the head of the programme. When I found out I was accepted to the HLA programme I was thrilled with the achievement and excited to get started.

Going back a few years, what are some of your fonder memories of Meadowridge School. What will you always remember?

The memories I will always remember from my time at Meadowridge are those spent after school hours with my extra-curriculars. Participating in sport was always a big part of my school experience, especially being a part of and Captaining the Senior Girls Basketball team. Additionally, being a cast and support member of the shows and musicals put on at the school over the years, most memorably my involvement in my final senior show ‘American Idiot’.

What advice do you have for students interested in studying medicine?

Medicine is an interesting and rewarding career, filled with lifelong learning. Although it can be quite competitive and demanding, it will be worth it in the long run. Most importantly, always stay true to yourself and the interests you have. Having passions and being unique is the best way to stay true to yourself and remain happy with your journey.

What’s next?

I am currently in my final year at medical school. After graduating I will stay in the UK to complete two years as a junior doctor in the medical foundation programme. I am hoping to continue to play rugby alongside my busy schedule as a junior doctor in the NHS.