Work experience requirements have generally relaxed to accommodate the fact that COVID-19 has put a stop to many clinical placements. Most Medical Schools won’t penalise you for not having recent healthcare-related work experience, because they understand that it’s been difficult to arrange.
However, this doesn’t mean you can give up and forget about 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 learned and explain how it has helped you prepare for a career in Medicine, you can make almost any experience relevant.
When looking for other ways to get relevant work experience, you should go for opportunities that will:
Did you have any work experience lined up before the pandemic that got cancelled? If so, try to contact the placement and see if it would be possible to set up a short phone call or video chat with a Doctor. This is a great way to find out more about working in healthcare.
Of course, Doctors are very busy, so it may not always be possible to arrange a call. If this is the case, you could try reaching out to Med students at university who can give you an insight into what Medical School is like and what to expect. You may know people who are already at Med School – but if you don’t, you could try connecting with Med students on platforms such as The Student Room or the UCAS website.
Some universities will allow you to draw upon your experience in non-healthcare settings, as long as you can illustrate how the skills you used and developed there could be transferred to the role of a Doctor.
Some good examples of related volunteering opportunities include:
During the pandemic, we also launched a Volunteering & Reflection Programme which gives you:
In the absence of clinical work experience, there are virtual programmes available which provide an insight into working in healthcare.
Some good virtual work experience alternatives include:
Another COVID-19 work experience alternative could be to get involved with a research programme.
If you’re unable to find a research programme to join, don’t worry! You can always take the initiative to conduct your own research project – and this could take the form of a Medicine themed EPQ.
If you’re really struggling to obtain work experience, seek out volunteering roles in both healthcare and non-healthcare settings.
Also, think about about how skills you’ve gained in other areas of your life (e.g. a part-time job or a role helping/leading others at school) would be relevant to a career in Medicine. For your Personal Statement and your interview, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have the essential qualities of a Doctor.
You can also do plenty of research into Medicine and the role of a Doctor by exploring it online, reading books, watching/listening to digital content, and attending virtual talks or lectures.
Check our guide to work experience for more tips and advice.
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