Fifth-year medical student, Nabeeha Mubeen

Fifth-year medical student Nabeeha Mubeen was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Oman aged 14. She always knew she wanted to be a doctor, but wanted the hands-on experience as well as the academic know-how to help her succeed.
Cue an internet search, a move to Plymouth, and a journey that has seen her inspire many students from ‘unlikely’ backgrounds into a medical career.

The University of Plymouth has higher ratio of practical work to academic work than most other places offering medical degrees, so I knew I wanted to come here. I love that they have values-based recruitment too – looking at who you are and how you would interact with patients in addition to your academic results.

Moving to Plymouth was scary to begin with, with weather and culture being the two biggest shocks to the system! But I made friends quickly and the city soon became my home.
Nabeeha joined the University’s Widening Access to Medical School (WAMS) society, which encourages and supports school students to pursue a career in medicine. 
From introducing a teddy bear hospital to primary school pupils – which sees them diagnose their toys and work out how to treat them – to offering hands-on workshops for secondary students, WAMS reaches people and places that might not otherwise consider a career in medicine.
“Lots of people have the skills and ability to be a doctor but might not know they do because no one in their family, friends or school has ever done it. That’s where we come in, to sow the seed at an early age and hopefully inspire them into considering a medical degree.”  
Teddy Bear Hospital
Now President of WAMS, Nabeeha has worked with University staff to set up a mentoring scheme in sixth forms across Devon, and was delighted to see many of the faces she had engaged with at a recent open day event.
She said:
“It was amazing to see many of our mentees staring back at us to take the next steps into medicine, and I knew the programme was doing what we had intended.” 
Nabeeha Mubeen and Ukrainian medical students

As a student ambassador, Nabeeha also helped to host a summer school for Ukrainian medical students last year. She also hosted a summer school this year for students from partner college, NSBM.

Such was the value of both events that she has kept in touch with the visitors – and the Ukrainian students have even been back over to visit.
“Their summer school took place not long after the start of the war and we heard all manner of awful things that had happened in their hometowns. We wanted to take them to the fireworks on the Hoe, but knew we couldn’t because of the trauma that the noises could incite. To have seen them since and hear about their careers progressing has been amazing – they really are incredible.”

In addition to her volunteering, Nabeeha holds down two part-time jobs to support herself: one as a healthcare assistant and one providing respite to disabled children. 

She said: 
“Not only am I earning money through the roles, but I’m also building on valuable skills to take into employment. I’m very lucky I’ve got the abilities and personality to go into medicine, so to have the opportunity to build on them is great.”
Following graduation and her two years as a foundation doctor, Nabeeha plans to be a GP and medical educator in Plymouth. Her first post-qualification placement is due to be confirmed soon. 

I’ve loved my medical degree more and more each year, so I really want to go into teaching and help other people to do the same. General Practice is an area of medicine that needs more people too, so I hope to be able to help.

I’m not from a place or a background that would necessarily lend itself to medicine, but if I can do it, many others can too.
Nabeeha concluded: 
“As an international student, you can face barriers that others don’t – for example, I haven’t been home since the Covid pandemic – and at times it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong. 
"Medicine as a career can evoke similar feelings if you come from a ‘different’ background. But it can be a career for anyone, and I hope to inspire as many people as I can into it.”  
Nabeeha Mubeen
Nabeeha Mubeen

Celebrating our international students 

The University is celebrating its vibrant community in a new event known as Colours for Scholars.
Taking place on International Students' Day, 17 November, the event sees staff, students and the wider community wear bright colours to mark the vibrancy and strength that our students bring.
Visit the Events Calendar for full details on how to take part
Colours for Scholars

Faculty of Health

Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.
Year 3 Medical Students in different clinical environments. Student in scrubs.