Applying to Medical School · May 29, 2018
Good Work Experience for Medicine and How to Make the Most of it!
Whether you’ve wanted to be a doctor from the tender age of 6 or have stumbled upon medicine later on in life, completing a work experience placement is a must if you want to apply to medicine. Relevant work experience is an essential part of the application process that medical schools expect from anyone interested in studying medicine. Completing voluntary work or shadowing is an excellent way of demonstrating your interest, dedication to the career and showing the admissions tutors that this is a decision not taken lightly. There’s a diverse range of different medical work experience placements you can do in the UK and abroad.
Over the course of my post, I’ll try to give you some tips on making the most of your work experience placement. Whether you’re based in a small community practice or shadowing doctors in a large tertiary trauma centre, a lot can be learnt from the experience. Obtaining work experience can be hard. But, after countless emails, you’ve managed to get a week’s worth of work experience at your local hospital, so it is essential that you make the most of it!
Before the placement
Cross the T's and dot the I's
Make sure you’ve filled in all the necessary paperwork (there can be a lot!) and know where you need to go on the first day. Aim to get there prepared and promptly - the last thing you want is to be running late.
Before you go, try to have an idea of what you want to find out about a career in medicine, and maybe even have a list of questions ready. As well as asking about the best parts of medicine, don’t forget to find out about some of the less positive aspects. This will allow you to be able to make a more balanced decision as to whether medicine is the right choice for you. Some questions to think about asking include:
- Why did you go into medicine?
- What is the best part of your job?
- If you were to go to medical school again, how would you change how you approached it?
- What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
- What are your working hours like?
- How do you find working in the NHS?
- What is it about this speciality that you like the most?
- How does the training pathway work for this speciality?
- How do you balance your time effectively?
How to balance time your time
Remember to be bright eyed and bushy tailed!
AKI, CABG, PPI, GMC, NICE, ABG, AAA?!
Seek out the full picture
- Was a patient diagnosed with an interesting condition that you had not encountered before?
- Was there a good example of a good doctor-patient relationship?
- Was there a dilemma or potential issue that the doctor and patient worked together to overcome?
- An example of different healthcare professionals working together (for example during multi-disciplinary meetings)
- Any interesting procedures or operations
After the placement
Reflect reflect reflect!
Asking for a friend
Write a personal statement that stands out!
We hope you found this information medical work experience helpful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@theMSAG.com.
Miss Roxanne Sutthakorn
Roxxanne is a Medical Student at King's College London. She has obtained The Duke of Edinburgh Award and is a Content Writer and Interview Coach for theMSAG.