Shadowing a DoctorDecember 14, 2012
If you want a career in medicine and are thinking about applying to medical school then you will need more than just good exam results. All medical schools now expect high school students to have gained some sort of work experience in a medical setting, which helps prove that you are determined and committed to a future career in medicine.
If you wish to gain work experience in a medical setting, there are three options. The first is to apply at various healthcare settings in your area and see if you can get a placement. Most healthcare settings, whether they are hospitals or local surgeries will have some form of volunteer programme to help potential medial students, but as with other aspects of the healthcare profession you may find places are highly sought after.
The next option is to try to get some paid work at a medical setting, such as working part time at your local hospital, dental surgery or physician’s office. This has the added advantage of offering you experience in a medical setting whilst also providing you with a part time income. However, again, places may be hard to come by. The other option for gaining working experience in a medical setting is to volunteer overseas.
Volunteering overseas has several distinct advantages when it comes to getting medical experience. The first is that you will face some extremely challenging situations and come face-to-face with conditions, illnesses and diseases that are rare back home. The second is that many overseas volunteer programmes take place in developing nations, where you can really make a difference by helping people deliver healthcare in some highly challenging conditions. Furthermore, most overseas volunteer programmes will provide you with a mentor and ensure you are not out of your depth, but you will also get more hands-on experience than you would back home.
Finally, as you will be working overseas, you will also get to experience different cultures and see parts of the world you may never have the chance to see again. An overseas volunteer placement will offer you plenty of opportunities to explore and take part in activities that will provide you with a memorable experience in some of the most exotic corners of the world. Most of all, volunteering overseas will provide you with experiences that will make any application to medical school shine, and help you get ahead of the competition and make it more likely you get one of the much-coveted places at medical school.