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Graduate Entry Medicine: Work Experience

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    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for advice!

    Thanks for sharing your nice experiences. Was there a question you wanted to ask?

    (Original post by Crootj)
    I am just beginning to start brainstorming to begin writing my personal statement. I feel that I lack that WOW factor compared to other statements I have read for inspiration. I am feeling that my lack of experiences may make me look 'lazy' or may not show how passionate I am about securing a place to study medicine.

    I am home from university at the moment and am in a village quite far from busy cities and feel that this has somewhat hindered me when applying.

    I worked within immunoinflammation unit at GSK as a placement research student for a year as a sandwich year completing a Biomedical Science degree. I was particularly interested in the complement system and how imbalances may predispose to inflammatory disease. Although I was in my element learning about specific conditions and potential treatments I was not feeling that I was making a real difference and was longing to be make more of a direct impact on the lives of the patients listening to it from their POV and this led me to consider medicine after completing my degree - first class honours.

    I am now undertaking a gap year before attending a masters in in-vivo research at the University of Birmingham in September and want to apply for medicine this year to begin in 2017.

    I have had a work experience placement for two weeks in psychiatry at mental health hospital. During my time I visited the electroconvulsive therapy suite where I was able to observe the procedure and also able to see ketamine infusion and rTMS. This was gave me a chance to hear about ethical considerations and to see the team work and compassion given by all involved for this type of treatment. I also saw case studies presented by some of the junior doctors and showed me the importance of lifelong learning and how it is your dedication and commitment to this that will enable you to have the right answer at the right moment to potentially save someones life.

    I have been volunteering for about 8 months at a care home for several hours a week and this has been extremely helpful in allowing me to gain a realistic perspective into a career in medicine and the type of emotional challenges that a doctor will be faced with. I am also trained in First Aid with St John Ambulance and work at public events one of which was the London Marathon - working under pressure and making connections/gaining trust from several people in a short time frame. I also support St John Youth Leaders in my local area to teach Badgers - groups of young children that were working towards their First Aid Badge which involved leading them to produce videos talking their friends how to put someone in the recovery position. As a STEM Ambassador I have also volunteered at the Big Bang Science Fair teaching small groups of children science activities to inspire them to pursue a career in science.

    Although I feel confident about my experiences so far, I feel it lacks that WOW factor when comparing my experiences to other graduates who have applied.

    Most seem to have worked in a care home PLUS having secured GP placements and surgical placements or placements in A&E seeing more emergency medicine, some have made huge impacts raising money and volunteering abroad for charities dealing with serious illnesses like cancer, malaria and HIV/AIDs.
    Hi Crootj

    Thanks for all the info, I am assuming from what you say that your concern is about your personal statement lacking the 'wow' factor?

    It actually sounds as though you have a lot of experience so as long as you structure your PS in the right way then I am sure you will be able to make sure that it stands out from the crowd.

    Firstly I would avoid comparing your experiences to those of other people. Universities understand that not everyone has access to the same opportunities and it is far less about the amount of experience you have had and much more about what you have gained from it. They are looking for students who have the ability to reflect in a mature way about the experiences that they have had. That is what you should be thinking about when structuring your personal statement.

    The other thing to consider when writing your PS is the balance between sections as this can hugely influence the overall message. If you would like some guidance on this, it would worth your while watching this video, which gives some great tips.

    I hope that is some help to you... do give me a shout if you have any questions I can answer.

    The best thing you can do is just start writing, then once you have a first draft, you have something you can redraft and before you know it, you'll be on your way to having written an amazing personal statement!

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