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Medical student at James Alexander Medical Practice, Hull

Work experience

If you're apply to study Medicine with us, you may be wondering what kind of work experience we are looking for – so we have prepared this guide to help.

Introduction

What experience do we require?

We advise applicants to have a range of experiences, either voluntary or paid, in both healthcare settings and areas that require interaction with people. Clinical work experience is not an essential criteria for applying to medicine.

If possible, gaining experience in a range of caring or service situations, observing or working alongside healthcare staff will be beneficial to an application.

These places could be care homes, hospices, pharmacies, community voluntary organizations, general practice surgeries and hospitals.

We also advise that you explore both the positive and negative aspects of a medical career through talking to doctors and other healthcare professionals.

These experiences will help applicants to understand the role of a doctor and enable you to demonstrate that you understand, and are committed to, teamwork and the social context of healthcare.

Visit the Medical Schools Council website for guidance on relevant experience for applying to a UK medical school.

Keep up to date with health news

We would also encourage applicants to keep up to date with topics relevant to health and social care in the UK through local and national press, relevant podcasts, websites. Here are some suggestions

Why do work experience?

Reflect on your experience

Your experience will help you to demonstrate in your application and interview that you understand, and are committed to, teamwork and the social context of healthcare. It will help you to develop some of the values, attitudes and behaviours essential to being a doctor.

Work experience will also allow you to demonstrate that you have a realistic understanding of medicine and the demands of a medical career.

You may find it useful to record your experiences and your subsequent learning in a reflective journal.

Where to start

How can I get work experience?

To get clinical work experience, you might find it useful to contact places in your area which relate to healthcare and prepare a short CV, saying that you are willing to volunteer.

Any volunteering or paid work that you undertake outside of healthcare settings will also be relevant in order to develop skills we are looking for in future doctors. Work which requires you to have interactions with members of the public is always particularly useful.

Gaining experience during the Covid-19 pandemic

We understand that current pressures on the NHS and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may prevent you in taking part in ‘in-person’ clinical work experience. The Medical Schools Council has released guidance on gaining experience during Covid-19.

We would recommend taking part in the following online experiences: