Work experience requirements have changed to accommodate the fact that COVID-19 has cancelled many placements. In fact, most Medical Schools won’t penalise you for not having healthcare-related work experience.
But that doesn’t mean you can give up and forget work experience altogether.
You have a great opportunity to be creative with your work experience! As long as you can reflect on what you’ve experienced and explain how it’s helped you understand your career choice or prepare for Medical School, you can make almost any experience relevant.
When thinking about other ways to get work experience, you should go for opportunities that can:
Did you have work experience lined up before the pandemic? If so, try to message the placement and see if it would be possible to set up a short phone call or skype chat with a Doctor. This is a great way to find out more about working in healthcare.
Of course, this is a very busy time so it may not be possible to arrange a call with your original placements.
If that’s not possible, reach out to Medical students who can provide insight into what Medical School is like and what to expect. You may know people who are already at Medical School, but if not try to connect with Medical Students on platforms such as The Student Room or the UCAS website. There will be Doctors and students who are keen to offer advice and support.
Some universities will accept you drawing upon your experience in non-healthcare settings, as long as you can illustrate how skillsets you used could be transferred to the role of a Doctor.
Some good examples of related volunteering opportunities include:
Find out more in our guide to volunteering placements.
A great alternative to work experience is a virtual programme that will give you insight into what working in healthcare is like.
Some good virtual work experience alternatives include:
Another COVID-19 work experience alternative could be to conduct your own independent research project – or join a research programme.
Some research programmes to consider:
If you still can’t get any work experience placements, don’t panic. The Medical Schools Council suggest that aspiring medics keep a reflective diary about ongoing COVID-19 news, taking note of the perspective of those working during the pandemic.
Check our guide to work experience for more tips and advice on what you can do without work experience.
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