When Yvette Kesselman left school at 16 with six O-Levels she never dreamed she would have the chance to study medicine. Despite becoming a dental hygienist, sparking an early interest in healthcare, it would be more than 30 years before Yvette could consider applying for medical school.
Having got married and had a daughter while still young, Yvette’s circumstances changed when she found herself a single mum doing a job that no longer challenged her. She ran a hostel for homeless youngsters, which appealed to her desire to help other people. However, at the age of 35, Yvette was keen to return to the healthcare sector and began a four-year diploma in osteopathy, which she has been practising for ten years.
Studying osteopathy re-awakened 50-year-old Yvette’s interest in medicine. But she was resigned to the fact that there was no access to medical school in Britain for people like herself without A-levels. Fiercely determined, she even considered the possibility of studying medicine abroad. Then her twin sister saw an advertisement for the Kingston Foundation Year in Medicine programme.
Yvette applied and, having gone through a rigorous selection process, was offered a place. “After years of longing to go into medicine, being accepted on to this course is a dream come true,” she said. “When I left my 40s behind, I thought that all the doors would be firmly closed on me. This course is a great example of the wider opportunities that are now available for mature students and I hope my experience will inspire other people to fulfil their ambitions.”