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31st March 2020
Medical Schools must be as fair as possible in their application process and will understand that most applicants have had their work experience plans disrupted. Many of the COVID-19 work experience alternatives are still possible – here are four other things you can do to help gain that realistic insight – many from the comfort of your own home.

Written by Daniel Huddart, TMP Senior Tutor

Reach Out To Doctors And Medical Students

Although you might not be able to see Doctors in action currently, look at ways around this using technology. Message the contact for your work experience placement to enquire if you can have a short phone call or skype chat with a Doctor.

This would give you the chance to ask questions about the role of a Doctor and working in healthcare. Your main barrier to this will be that many doctors are busy and so may struggle to make the time for a chat.

So what can you do if this fails? Try contacting a Medical Student. Many Medical Students currently find themselves in a similar position to you, working from home with a lot of time to spare. 

It’s useful to not only understand day to day life as a Doctor but also as a medical student. You’ll be spending several years at medical school – chatting to current students can give you an idea of what this involves.

You might have a friend of a friend who’s currently at Medical School who you can contact. If not, then try platforms like The Student Room or LinkedIn, you’ll find both Doctors and students are keen to offer advice and support.

Keep Up To Date With Current Affairs

Medical schools want you to keep up to date with what is going on in the healthcare world, and commonly asked questions on this at interviews. We always recommend students start as early as possible with this, now is a perfect time to start. 

You may already find yourself glued to the news for updates regarding the coronavirus outbreak – it is difficult to find and news that isn’t on this topic.

COVID-19 and Public Health are likely to be a common topic at interviews, so it is worth keeping up to date with key developments in the outbreak.

Still, make sure to get a balance – constantly reading about COVID-19 can have a negative impact on your mental health.

COVID-19 isn’t the only thing to read about. Here are some other NHS Hot Topics to read up on. 

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Do Some Further Reading

News updates are not the only place you can gain a better understanding of healthcare. Many students will read healthcare book before they apply.

This allows you to gain insights from healthcare professionals without stepping into a hospital, and you can often learn about a particular aspect of medicine in much more depth.

It is up to you what you read, but we would recommend choosing something you have a genuine interest in. If you want a few ideas, here’s are 5 books to read for aspiring medics

Arrange Work Experience For Later In 2021

Obviously, it is difficult to predict when COVID-19 restrictions will end, but once this is the case, try dropping your work experience contact a message to look at rearranging your placement.

Remember: something is better than nothing. If you can’t secure work experience in time to write about it in your Personal Statement, you may be able to get something arranged before interview season.

One Final Reminder

Remember that your academics are still your priority during this time! Although it is useful to try a few of the activities listed above, do make sure you can still maintain this alongside your studies.

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