How do i get relevant experience?

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Experience is vital for an application to medical school, they need to know you are certain you want to be a doctor because you have:

Observed doctors in action

Worked with patients

Been exposed to a clinical environment


How do I get experience?

This is daunting challenge, but it can be achieved with perseverance and by thinking outside the box. Bear in mind you may be competing with other potential medical students at this stage for experience.

Contact your local hospital:

E-mail the relevant administration regarding voluntary work, an email only takes a few minutes but can be ignored.

If you haven’t heard after a few days, call them and ask them about voluntary work with regards to previous email. Be polite but persistent!

Take anything they can offer, a few days or even hours per week.

Contact your local GP

If you have a family doctor who you are relatively familiar with, don’t be afraid to mention your application and ask if you could shadow them for a few hours per week.

Often it will be difficult to contact the doctors directly (Don’t book an appointment just to ask!) Try calling the surgery and asking for an email address, or leave a note via the secretary.

Also bear in mind that while direct shadowing would be ideal, volunteering at the surgery in other ways would provide valuable experience. Providing insight into: How a GP surgery is run, the hours a GP works, the pace, the responsibilities etc.

Family friends

Ask around, does anyone in your family work in a hospital? If so, contact them and explain that you need some experience in a clinical environment.

They don’t necessarily need to be a doctor. A word or e-mail from hospital staff to the voluntary administration can make the difference.

Enlist family to talk about your application to their friends.

Ask your teachers, does your school or college have any direct contacts with hospital volunteer administrations?

Do you know a medical student? Could you shadow them?

Be optimistic!

Talk to people (It’s good practice): People at the gym, people at bus stops, customers at your day job etc.

Opportunities are everywhere and it’s not unknown for doctors to sympathise with friendly students, even if they met under random circumstances.

Good luck!

James B. Uni Admissions Test -Medical School Preparation- tutor, Ment...

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