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Published on 4th April 2017 by lauram

Want to gain medical school work experience this summer?

Medical school work experience is crucial in your medicine application and a key part of your Personal Statement. The earlier you start looking, the more chance you’ll have of finding a placement – as you’ll already know, medical work experience is in high demand and places will fill fast, so make sure you’re ahead of the game!

3 Things to Consider:

  1. Consider the requirements of where you’re contacting. Remember that many hospitals and GPs have minimum age requirements, so make sure you check these in your research beforehand. 
  2. Use your contacts. Does somebody you know work for the NHS? They may be able to provide you with contact details of somebody who can help you to organise a placement.
  3. Speak to your careers adviser at sixth form or college. They may be able to help you search for a placement, or may already have contact with local practices where students have completed placements in the past.

Step by Step Guide to Gaining Work Experience:

1. Make a list

Make a list of all of the places you’re interested in completing work experience and places recommended by contacts, friends or family, complete with their:

  • Telephone numbers (for the initial contact)
  • Email addresses (this may be useful for sending over a CV or cover letter)
  • Addresses (for planning travel to and from your potential placement)

This bank may take a while to build up, so you’ll have to dedicate some time to this stage! It might be easiest to do this using an Excel spreadsheet. 

2. Start contacting

The easiest way to make contact is by phoning up and asking to speak to the work experience facilitator to enquire about a placement.

You may be asked to email over a copy of your CV and a cover letter, and afterwards you may be invited to an interview. Once you’ve contacted them, make a note on your spreadsheet so you don’t accidentally contact the same place twice!

3. Don’t give up!

You’re unlikely to be successful in the first few places you contact, so don’t be disheartened (here’s where you can breathe a sigh of relief that you started looking early!).

If you’re unsuccessful after trying several places, don’t worry – try thinking outside the box. Have you considered shadowing another healthcare professional? Or working in a pharmacy? There are many different ways to gain medical work experience, so be persistent and eventually you’ll find a great placement. Good luck!

For more advice on making the most of your placement, visit our Work Experience page.


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