Shadowing a DoctorMarch 28, 2012
Writing a medicine work experience letter is a necessary evil of applying for medical work experience in the UK. Work experience is an essential part of training for anybody seeking a career in the healthcare industry. Temporary work in a healthcare setting not only equips you with relevant experience and working knowledge, but it can prepare you for what to expect and help assess if the career is a suitable one for you. National Health Service hospitals and General Practitioner surgeries in the UK are quire used to providing work placements and offering experience to student doctors. Most health care courses in the UK expect you to regularly conduct such placements, and most hospitals and surgeries are fairly welcoming to requests.
When writing a letter asking for a placement it is important to keep the letter formal. Don’t attempt to use humour or include irrelevant details, and it is also important to type the letter as handwritten letters not only look less professional but can also be difficult to read. Use standard letter writing techniques, so place you name and contact details on the upper right-hand side of the letter, and the name and address of the hospital or surgery on the left. Try and address the letter to a named person such as the hospital or surgery manager or doctor you wish to work for. A lot of surgeries now have websites where this information is available, but if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to telephone and ask.
It’s a good idea to highlight the subject of your letter, such as “RE: Work Experience Inquiry” this will ensure the letter gets passed to the relevant person and not sat on a pile with all the other correspondence. Next introduce yourself, explaining your relevant experience so far and what type of work experience you are looking for. It is important you explain clearly your medical qualifications (if any) and experience that you have gained so far. If you don’t currently have any medical training or qualifications explain this too, as the surgery and hospital will need to know what you are capable of doing.
Explain the type of work experience you are looking for and mention the type of field of medicine you are looking to become qualified in. This will help the placement find you experience relevant to your goals. You also need to explain when you are available to take the placement. This is important as surgeries and hospitals get many requests for work placements and may not have the time to facilitate you during the dates you require, so be prepared for a rejection and to apply to more than one facility.
You should then end the letter by explaining a little about yourself. Don’t include trivial details, but explain where you are from, what you hope to achieve in your career and any other relevant skills, qualifications or background information that they may find useful. End the letter in a formal fashion. If you started the letter with Dear Mr/Mrs/Dr, then end it with “Yours sincerely,” if you used dear Sir/Madam then use “Yours faithfully.”