How much work experience do I need to have before applying medical school?

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This is a really tricky question to answer and of course "as much as possible" is a common but frustrating answer! What's reassuring and important to understand is that many universities aren't judging you on the quantity of the work experience you've done. They are interested in a number of things...firstly, if you are committed enough to the degree to organise work experience. Remember medicine is a long degree and you're entering a profession potentially for life so it is important for both the uni and yourself to know whether you want to be a doctor! Secondly, they want to know what you learnt about the medical profession/medicine during you're work experience and what skills you think are required to be a doctor. This then gives you the chance to show off how perfect you are for the job! From talking to many of my medical student colleagues the majority of us did 1-2 weeks work experience either in a hospital or GP practice. However, many students had weekend jobs whilst at school in nursing homes which is also great experience and exposure to healthcare. If you are considering taking a gap year many universities want to see that you did something medical during that time. Whether that's working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital, a care home or volunteering, it is all invaluable experience. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask!

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Helena H.

About the author

Helena H. is an online Medical School Preparation tutor who tutored with MyTutor studying at Bristol University

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