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Published on 12th May 2020 by Premela


Want to make your medical school application stand out? Why not try taking on some virtual work experience? Here’s everything you need to know about Brighton and Sussex Medical School’s  (BSMS) virtual work experience!

Why it was set up

There are many myths about medical school work experience requirements, with many believing that without shadowing a consultant/clinical work experience, you won’t stand a chance of getting in.

Whilst reflection on clinical experiences can provide some of the insights, required to gain a “realistic understanding of medicine” (which is what medical schools actually want to see), there are also many other ways.

The BSMS “virtual” work experience was created pre-pandemic and originally designed for those considering a career in medicine, who might not have had access to “real-world” clinical work experience opportunities.

Now, more than ever, prospective medical school applicants are relying on online resources to fill the work experience gaps and we are proud to be able to offer that support. 

Read >>> 5 Things To Do From Home To Support Your Medicine Application

What it offers

Using presentations, patient case studies and interactive quizzes and activities, the learning content of the course explores some of the key skills and values attributed to being an NHS doctor in a variety of specialities.

It highlights the importance of communication and teamwork in a multitude of settings and demonstrates how the NHS values underpin clinical activity.

The course also offers an introduction to several clinical skills frameworks e.g how to take a patient history, how to break bad news.

Additionally, it focuses on some of the challenges and barriers that healthcare professionals have to navigate and introduces the four pillars of medical ethics.

Whilst sharing these insights, the platform encourages participants to carefully consider the role of a doctor whilst reflecting on their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Read >>> 5 Ways To Build Your Personal Statement During Lockdown

How it works

Users can enrol for free via this link. The course is split up into six modules covering the  areas of:

  • General Practice
  • Elderly Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Surgery & Inpatient Medicine
  •  Emergency Medicine 
  • Palliative Medicine 

At the end of the course, there is a short reflective task to encourage users to think about the insights they have gained. This is where we hope to see participants realise that physical experiences aren’t always necessary to gain a realistic understanding of medicine.

Through the exploration of various clinical scenarios, participants will have hopefully been able to identify key skills required to study medicine, before considering and searching for demonstratable examples from within their own skill sets.  

From the reflections we have received so far, it seems that this is indeed the case! 

From poems to comic strips to mind maps and even an excerpt from a play script, participants have been capturing their thoughts in a variety of different ways and we have loved reading them!  

All in all, we hope that the work experience platform highlights that experiences don’t have to be clinical to be relevant to a medical school application. A realistic understanding of medicine and demonstration of personal skills can be exemplified through other means, it might just take a little more reflection to piece it together!

You can access the BSMS work experience tool via this link.

Read More:

UCAT Ready Checklist 

COVID-19 – The Best Work Experience Alternatives

COVID-19 NHS Hot Topic – Ventilators



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