Shadowing a DoctorJuly 8, 2013
Obtaining medical work experience is a great way to get an in-depth insight into working in a hospital and is a sound basis upon which to decide whether or not this career suits you. This work experience, however brief it may be, gives you a valuable sneak peek into the demands of the job and helps you make the jump smoothly from school to the workplace, where conditions are quite different from what you may have earlier envisioned.
Many hospitals in the UK offer placements to students who wish to obtain some medical work experience. However, the number of slots available is completely disproportionate to the number of pre-med students who are looking for a seat.
With that in mind, there are a few things you will need to consider when you are looking for medical work experience in the UK:
Hospitals that offer these placements will require you to send in your application letter or complete an online application form within a specific time period. Make sure you send in your application form along with your resume and cover letter within this time period. The earlier the better as places are limited and can fill up rapidly. Healthcare is a very, very competitive industry after all.
Organisations look for students who are enthusiastic and proactive, so take the time to write a powerful covering letter that demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in medicine and why you are looking for work experience.
You may find that you have to call several hospitals before you find one that can give you the work experience you are looking for. When applying to or calling up hospitals, make sure you only target those hospitals that you would actually be able to travel regularly to or if it is very far, be prepared to either travel long distances or look for a place to stay for the duration of your work experience.
Where To Start Your Search For Medical Work Experience In The UK
The NHS is a good place to start. You are sure to find a few opportunities when you browse through the websites of your local hospitals, as well as the websites of their NHS Trust. Several partner NHS Trusts provide work experience opportunities.
St John’s Ambulance & British Red Cross First Aid Volunteers
St John’s & the British Red Cross welcome students and can give you valuable training in handling first aid situations under pressure. They also give you plenty of opportunity to practice your first aid skills at public events and during natural disasters.
Gap Medics offers you the opportunity to obtain hands-on medical experience in overseas countries including Thailand, Tanzania and the Czech Republic. In addition to being real eye openers into the world of medicine, these placements will also tilt the balance in your favor when you apply for admission to any medical school.