Eric has donated a scholarship fund to the Bolton School's Girls' Division in honor of his late wife Edith. The scholarship to study Medicine at University was offered to three students from the Bolton School’s Girls’ Division. The Dr Edith Forsyth Scholarship Award provides financial support for five years of university medical training for the girls who started their degrees in September 2015 and otherwise might be deterred from studying Medicine because of financial hardship.
The award will cover five years of training at £15,000 per annum and has been generously donated by an Old Boy of the School, Eric Forsyth, in memory of his late wife, Edith. Eric wishes to provide the same opportunity for a young woman, that he and Edith enjoyed when they went to Manchester University in 1950; namely a free education under the 1944 Education Act.
Eric and Edith subsequently moved to Canada and later to the United States, where Edith was a highly respected physician on Long Island. She was beloved by all her patients and has been sorely missed since her passing in 1991.
UPDATE - August, 2016: The three Dr Edith Forsyth Scholars, Katie Nightingale, Than Dar and Alliyah Ghanchi have completed their first year studying Medicine at university.
Below are the letters that Eric received from the recipients:
"My first year at university has been a whirlwind of excitement. From moving in in September I've definitely learned a lot. I joined the swim team at the start of my degree and have enjoyed representing and competing for the university this first year. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the medical course so far, passing all my assignments and assessments to levels much higher than my expectations.
The anatomy strand has been particularly interesting and an area of science completely new to me. I have achieved the level 'very good' by the end of this first year of which I'm very proud of. Placement has been exciting too and I am looking forward to next year where we will spend even more time on placement. So far I have experienced a hand and wrist surgery ward and a placement in a GP both of which I've definitely enjoyed.
The scholarship has been of great benefit to myself, without which I don't think I would've been able to go to university. I am extremely humbled and thankful for the opportunity I have been given and after passing my first year of the medical degree would like to say a massive thank you both to yourself and Dr Edith Forsyth."- Katie Nightingale
"My first year of medical school has been exciting and challenging, and I have loved every moment. The Edith Forsyth Scholarship has enabled me to have a successful year. Regarding my academic achievements, I gained a Merit for my overall performance in first year, which places me above average. This result is a culmination of a total of 4 written papers I sat in January and May, together with an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which encompasses 15 stations focussed on clinical examinations of various body systems as well as cadaveric anatomy identification and basic history taking skills. I have also successfully applied for positions on various committees, and can happily announce that I hold the following responsibilities for the next academic year: Treasurer for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society Publicist for Friends of MSF Committee member for Global Health Short Course 2016 - I am on the committee for the launch of Leicester Medical School’s first ever Global Health Short Course, which aims to provide workshops and lectures by prominent speakers to discuss global health issues and strategies to combat them. I am also the lead for the gender and health session, and have liaised with professors to give lectures on gender inequalities in healthcare and maternal health.
Student Ambassador for Leicester Medical School – I give tours and demonstrations to showcase medical education. I have recently applied and been selected to be on the student editorial team, as a peer reviewer, for The Student Doctor Journal. This is an open access, biannual, general medical journal, which publishes articles written primarily by medical students. My responsibility is to review research articles that students have produced, to ensure the results are sound in order to be published in the journal. Over the summer, I am currently conducting research with Cardiothoracic surgeons at Glenfield Hospital. We are conducting a systematic review on the effects of preoperative weight loss on postsurgical outcomes. This is a new area of research, and is based on the Obesity Paradox theory, that having abdominal fat can, to an extent, help patients post-surgery. The Edith Forsyth Scholarship has provided me with the security of achieving my ambitions without the worry of juggling the demands of a medical education and a part-time job. It has been an invaluable support and will prove to be so in future years, especially as I am trying to save some money from it to so that I can spend an extra year at medical school after my second year, to get an intercalated BSc degree in a research project of my choice. I end in gratitude and appreciation for the Edith Forsyth Scholarship and strive to do it justice. Kind Regards" - Alliya Ghanchi
"In the weeks building up to the start of university I was nervous to say the least. I had started the work that was sent to me the day after I received my exam results; I could not believe that I had already been given work to do when the summer holidays were barely over and it made me wonder how I would cope with the demands of the course. I had received a freshers’ guide which gave me an idea of what to expect once I arrived. This included an unusual list of words and definitions that were somewhat unique to the students of Cambridge for example ‘mathmo’ is used to describe a maths student and the academic terms are referred to as ‘Michaelmas’, ‘Lent’ and ‘Easter’. The unusual words came with some unusual traditions. The first one that I experienced was Matriculation during freshers’ week. It started with a formal five-course dinner in candlelight whilst wearing our black gowns, I initially found the sheer amount of cutlery rather confusing and I was not a fan of the cheese course although I tried to be. This was followed by the official ceremony and photograph the next morning; after signing a sheet of paper in the ceremony I officially became a member of my college and the university. It was quite a bizarre introduction to university life and certainly very different to what I am used to back home.
The medics were warned about the workload by our Director of Studies during freshers’ week, he said that the vacations were not referred to as holidays because we vacate the building and continue studying at home, we were also told that we should not stop working until the exams were over in summer. It sounded ridiculous but I knew that I would have to work continuously if I wanted to pass the exams. The part of the course that I had been looking forward to the most was full-body dissection. Although I was apprehensive at first I very much enjoyed dissection, I learnt an incredible amount and as the weeks progressed I came to appreciate the sacrifice that the body donors and their families had made to further our medical education. I was actively involved in many extra-curricular activities at school, especially music, but the workload at university meant that I could not commit to joining bands or choirs. This was something I really missed so I purchased a digital piano over Christmas because I knew that playing music was an enjoyable and effective way for me to de-stress; I played it regularly as a break from studying. I was given a taste of what Cambridge exams would be like during Lent term. The term began with mock exams and ended with two real exams which I passed much to my relief. Before I knew it, Easter term was upon me and exam week was fast approaching.
Purchasing a Medical Society membership gave me access to some fantastic resources which really helped me with my revision. The incredibly high levels of stress, panic and pressure during exam week were like nothing I had ever experienced before; my exams were all back-to-back and had been crammed into a week and a half. I was absolutely exhausted after my final exam but I was excited for May Week. May Week, which is actually in June, is by far my favourite Cambridge tradition; it is a week full of May Balls hosted by many of the colleges. I could not have imagined a better way to celebrate after a year of non-stop hard work; I was finally able to relax and have fun without exams or essays constantly in the back of my mind. However, the thought of exams had not entirely escaped me because my results were being released during May Week, fortunately I passed them all. I knew that studying Medicine was going to be difficult but I was not prepared for the level of intensity and pressure at Cambridge. However, I believe this really helped me to thrive. I was overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge and the level of detail that I was expected to learn, it was actually rather frightening but I now realise that, unlike A Levels, it is not possible to know the course material inside out however hard I tried. I had to adapt to find new and more efficient ways of working and these methods will undoubtedly change as I progress through medical school.
Having more independence at university has helped me to undergo personal development and it has been a relief to know that I am not a financial burden on my parents as I am able to manage my own finances with the aid of the scholarship. On reflection, my first year at medical school has definitely been a positive learning experience. I feel incredibly lucky to have gained so much knowledge from some of the best academics in the world who have pushed my intellectual abilities to new limits." -Than Dar