I’m from Finland and I want to apply to the UK to study medicine this fall. In our country the med school admissions are really different from the UK: they are based on one big exam and that’s it. No personal statement, no interview, no need for even decent grades. You can get some extra points if you’ve done well in our equivalent for A-levels, but there is a quota so that around half of the admissions are only based on the entrance exam anyway.
This means that almost nobody untrained needs work experience in the health care section, and to the rest of us the options are really limited. I guess even the culture around volunteering is a lot different. Personally, I don’t know anyone who volunteers.
I’ve managed to get volunteering placements in a nursery, where I’ll have worked for 8 months by October, and in a hospital, where I’ll have worked for 6 (around 2-4 hours a week in each). The problem is that even the idea of someone below the status of an actual med student e.g. shadowing a doctor seems ridiculous here. Finns value privacy, and there’s a lot of bureaucracy involved. In the nursery my job is to serve coffee and in the hospital to guide people around and help them with other small practical issues. To me it’s perfectly ok, but do you guys think this passes as sufficient work experience for UK med schools? If not, what should I do? I am 100% sure I have no chance whatsoever of getting a shadowing placement in Finland, and after seeing how you guys struggle with getting experience I don’t have much faith in my chances as a foreigner of getting it in the UK either. Any thoughts or advice?
Work experience as a non-UK applicant for Medicine
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