Medical work experience used to be an essential part of your Medicine application – but for 2021 entry, medicine work experience requirements have been relaxed. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic has stopped most placements from happening.

COVID-19 and Medical Work Experience

Clinical work experience placements have been cancelled because of the pandemic – but that doesn’t mean that all opportunities have stopped. You could still volunteer, take on a research project, or look for a remote opportunity, for example. We outline your options in our guide to COVID-19 work experience alternatives.

Work Experience Requirements

For 2021 entry, Medical Schools have generally relaxed their requirements when it comes to placements. They recognise that the pandemic has scuppered most applicants’ plans and they won’t penalise you for this.

Find out what each Medical School’s work experience requirements are.


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Types of Medical Work Experience

Broadly speaking, there are four types of medical work experience:

You might also want to think about volunteering for St John Ambulance or remote work experience schemes.

How To Get Medical Work Experience

The best way to get medical work experience is to ask – and to be persistent. If you want to shadow a GP, you’ll need to ask a lot of practices and follow-up with them. If you want to get a hospital placement, you’ll need to apply with a few Trusts.

Of course, during the pandemic, these routes are closed to you.

Instead, you may want to consider our Volunteering & Reflection Programme. It provides regular online volunteering experiences, facilitated by award-winning charity Kissing it Better. It also includes access to 10 companion modules to help you reflect on your volunteering experience – plus a year’s subscription to TMP MedSoc.

Valuable Medical Work Experience

The real value in work experience is the way you reflect upon it when writing your Personal Statement or answering work experience questions at interview.

With the right reflection, volunteering is just as useful as a hospital placement.

Tips for Reflecting on Work Experience

  • Take notes every day to help you remember what you saw
  • At the end of the placement, revisit your notes and reflections and add to this
  • At the end of the day, reflect on what you observed and what you learnt
  • Review your notes before you write your Personal Statement
  • Read everything again while you prepare for your interview
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