Student discussion

Please check through the frequently asked questions below before contacting the Course Administrator with your query.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply to 'Follow My Footsteps'?

In June each year, Year 1 Imperial Medical students who are interested in applying to the course are invited to submit a 200-word statement telling the course leaders why they want to join the course when it begins in November. The statement is then sent to the Course Administrator, Jennifer Haley (

How are the application statements marked?

There is a total of four marks available for an application statement. A mark is awarded for attendance at the 'Follow My Footsteps' Open Evening in May of Year 1. A second mark is awarded for evidence of commitment to learning about children and child development. A third mark is given for awareness of the need for long-term commitment to the 'Follow My Footsteps' course. A final mark is awarded for awareness of the learning opportunities offered by the course.

How do students arrange a visit to their 'Follow My Footsteps' family?

Students work as a pair during the course and contact their family by text, phone or email to arrange a convenient time for a visit. This is, of course, a very busy time for the family and persistence and flexibility are key skills when arranging successful visits.

How often are the tutorials for 'Follow My Footsteps'?

There are two tutorials per year in each of years 2, 3 and 4, and students are expected to visit their family at least once after each tutorial.

Do tutorials only consist of lectures by the 'Follow My Footsteps' tutors?

No. Students are asked to give presentations as a pair about different aspects of their mother, child and family each year during the course. This provides and opportunity for fellow students to give feedback about what has been learnt. Tutorials are held in groups of four to eight pairs and are facilitated interactive seminars where tutors typically highlight key opportunities for health promotion in the growing child.

How often do students visit their 'Follow My Footsteps' mother and child?

A visit to the family follows each tutorial so that students can put into practice what they have learnt. Students can visit their family as often as they wish by mutual agreement.

Is it possible for students to make video or sound recordings featuring their family during their visits?

College confidentiality rules do not allow students to store confidential information relating to their patients in sound or visual form on iPads or similar storage devices. It may be possible for the family to make video or sound recordings themselves and then share these with the students. However, once the footage has been seen by the tutor and students at the next tutorial it should be deleted for reasons of confidentiality.

What should students do if they have any welfare concerns relating to their 'Follow My Footsteps' family?

For urgent concerns, they should contact Dr Bob Boyle, the course Co-Director or the Course Administrator immediately. Appropriate action can then be taken. It is important to share any concerns about the child or family.

What happens if the family's circumstances change and they can no longer take part in 'Follow My Footsteps'?

The course leads and administrator will find another family for students to visit.

Do students receive a certificate at the end of the 'Follow My Footsteps' course?

The 'Follow My Footsteps' course is not assessed but each student who takes part will receive a certificate of participation for their portfolio at the end of the course. There is also an opportunity to win prizes for reflective notes during the course.

Can graduate students participate in Follow My Footsteps?

Yes. Graduate medical students can participate in the course. Graduate students should apply in the same way as undergraduates, at the end of their first year of medical school.