“Médenpharmakiné”: the name is unpronounceable, but the initiative aims to be accessible to everyone. And responds, above all, to a real need. Behind this acronym – for “medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, maieutics, physiotherapy” – is developing an unprecedented support structure. Tutoring aimed at students from the working-class neighborhoods of Marseilles which tackles the ruthless selective system of the first year of medicine – now a specific health access course (Pass). A social and solidarity initiative that shakes up the system of “stables”, these largely private structures that follow students throughout the year but display an annual fee of several thousand euros, prohibitive for many candidates.
“Accessing a doctor’s training, for us kids from these working-class neighborhoods, was at best a fantasy, at worst, an unthought, recalls Aïssa Grabsi, 54, co-founder of the association Le Sel de la vie, at the origin of the program. A mix between “I don’t think it’s going to be possible” of Zebda and the “we are not born under the same star” of IAM. » This teacher in economics and social sciences in a Marseille high school is, with a handful of other medical or education professionals, one of the volunteers at the initiative of the team.
The idea was born at L’Après M, this former McDonald’s fast food restaurant, transformed into a solidarity platform by a handful of activists. “QPV students [quartiers prioritaires de la ville] are often limited in their choice of higher education, recalls Aïssa Grabsi. We said to ourselves that we had to create this stable to show them that they could dare to enroll in medicine… ” According to figures from the Ministry of Higher Education, more than one in two students (52.4%) enrolled in a medicine-odontology course in 2016-2017 had parents “executives and higher intellectual professions”, against only 5.5% of children of workers. A 2015 study calculated that they had 2.5 times less chance of success in the first year than the children of executives.
Student support and follow-up
Historically, the faculty of Marseille has applied a support system whose prices start at twenty euros per year. But the Marseille association tutoring (TAM), which notably offers course materials and mock competitions, is not intended to ensure close monitoring of the hundreds of students registered with its services. The Médenpharmakiné team makes this follow-up an obligation. “To meet the needs of students for whom the world of post-baccalaureate studies often looks like an unknown continent”further notes Mr. Grabsi.
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