Medicine Work Experience: How It Helps And Where To Find It

December 6, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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When you are looking for information or help on applying to medical school, you will receive a lot of suggestions advising you to first get some medical work experience. There are several ways that this benefits you.

First and foremost, medical work experience helps you decide for sure whether medicine is really for you or not. Many people think they want to do medicine, but when they finding out more about what in involved in medical education and in the practice themselves, they withdraw their applications. Before you start sending out your applications to medical school, it is important that you make sure medicine is for you and one way to find out is by getting some medicine work experience.  

Students and mentors outside Morogoro Hospital in Tanzania Medicine work experience can help you with your University application. It gives you the edge over other applicants as you have something so interesting you can mention in your Personal Statement and talk about in your interview.

This immersive work experience is a good way to learn a lot about yourself as a person. You may end up considering not doing medicine as a result of the work experience but when you think about it, it is better to have found out earlier rather than later that this is not really the right career for you.

How to get the necessary medicine work experience

There are several things that you can explore:

Ask your GP or the local hospital for a shadowing opportunity: This can be a good first step in the learning curve. Most General Practitioners will oblige when it comes to helping you get the necessary work experience. If for any reason, this is not possible, approach the hospitals in and around your area and ask if they offer shadowing opportunities. Some hospitals even hold regular shadowing programs for pre-med students. The only way to find out is to ask. You may just get lucky. 

 Volunteering: Nursing homes, hospices, youth clubs and rehabilitation centre can always do with more help. Volunteering at any of these facilities could be an invaluable experience for anyone who is keen on joining the medical profession. While you may not get the same experience as you would in a hospital or a medical clinic, you get to experience other aspects of caring for the aged, sick and disabled and learn how to deal with the different challenges associated with the different situations.

Overseas medical placements: Overseas medical placements are becoming more and more common as work experience carried out by prospective medical students. These placements are usually organised in developing countries where medicine is practiced under conditions dramatically different from what students would have experienced in their home country. A look at how health care and medicine are dispensed in hospitals that have only the basic equipment and amenities can be an eye-opening experience and offers the perfect opportunity to decide whether or not this is the right career path for you.