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    Hi all,

    I just finished my GCSEs this summer and am looking at Medicine... Having done my exams, realistically I think (hope!) that I'll get 7A* 4 A inc. A* in Maths, Sciences and French which I'm taking for A Level.
    So far work experience wise, I've done:
    • 1 year volunteering at the till in Oxfam charity shop
    • Starting long term (over my time at sixth form) volunteering at a care home this summer
    • 1 week work experience in a primary school with year 4s/5s (that was scary!) in Year 10
    • In Year 11, 4 months volunteering one lunchtime a week at another local primary school, playing with the infants (year 2 and under)


    I know I need, or should get, 1 week at a GP/Hospital but apart from that, do you think I'm a reasonably sound potential applicant?
    I don't want to sound like one of those people who ask about their suitability when they have 100000A*s and 10 years of work experience haha, but I would love to get some feedback on whether my work experience so far/potential grades are ok as a starter! (I do extracurricular stuff like sport and was Head Girl etc... but yeah)

    Many thanks for reading this! Good luck to all.

    Zintanax
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    Grades are fine but you should probably want more medical-based work experience, IMO. Especially like the care home work, as it is long term.
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    Grades are fine but you should probably want more medical-based work experience, IMO. Especially like the care home work, as it is long term.

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, I need a bit more medical stuff but it's quite hard to get long term medical experience where I live as most of the hospitals/GPs have stopped giving out placements due to lack of funding or something! But I'm sure I can get at least a week or two somewhere! Thanks!
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    (Original post by zintanax)
    Thanks for your reply. Yes, I need a bit more medical stuff but it's quite hard to get long term medical experience where I live as most of the hospitals/GPs have stopped giving out placements due to lack of funding or something! But I'm sure I can get at least a week or two somewhere! Thanks!
    One or two weeks are fine at GP and hospitals. I wouldn't expect them to do long term placements, but you could try to get multiple short ones. However, it's not necessarily the quantity of experience you have, more about what you have learned from it.
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    UUUMMM yes this is fabulous! And it doesn't matter if you're work experience is in a medicine based environment or not. I've been to 8 open days and they all say IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO, IT'S WHAT YOU LEARN
    so learn learn lear, how have you developed? what skills have you developed? how are you communicating? you can write an amaaazing personal statement with that
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    Your local hospital might take you as a volunteer if they won't take you for specific work experience. I just made cups of tea, cleaned and tidied and did patient satisfaction surveys. I say "just", it was invaluable work experience. I had open access all over the hospital and plenty of time to sit and chat to patients about their experiences. You are also a little invisible on the wards, so you really get a feel for how the team works (or doesn't work), the pressures and realities. Anything is work experience if you spin it right and reflect correctly on it. I recommend starting a notebook to jot down brief notes on what you did, a gut feeling and go back a week later to add another thought once you've had time to process it.
    For example: In the care home you may be tidying up and you see a patient wailing in what you perceive to be pain. No one is paying any attention to her and you feel horrified. A week later, you realize the patient does this frequently, it's not pain, the patient is oblivious that they are doing it and everyone is really busy caring for other people because the home is tightly staffed. You make a note to research dementia and write three bullet points on how it affects patients and their families.
    This way it'll be much easier when you come to do personal statement writing and interview prep.
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    UUUMMM yes this is fabulous! And it doesn't matter if you're work experience is in a medicine based environment or not. I've been to 8 open days and they all say IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO, IT'S WHAT YOU LEARN
    so learn learn lear, how have you developed? what skills have you developed? how are you communicating? you can write an amaaazing personal statement with that
    Saying "it's not what you do, it's what you learn" can be applied to almost all subjects except medicine. When applying to study medicine, relevant work experience is as vital as qualifications themselves.

    (To OP: you're looking very good, but yeah, relevant work experience will be necessary)
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    (Original post by perflous)
    Saying "it's not what you do, it's what you learn" can be applied to almost all subjects except medicine. When applying to study medicine, relevant work experience is as vital as qualifications themselves.

    (To OP: you're looking very good, but yeah, relevant work experience will be necessary)
    It's really not. Well, in the UK anyway, i have talked to admission people from probably around 14 unis for medicine and they say it's obviously good to have relevant work experience but having ANY work experience where you have to communicate or where you show perseverance, motivation, commitment (that was a big one for Leicester) and aslong as you can write about what you've learn and how you'd be able to apply what you've learnt to a medical environment, you'll be fine

    My friend last year had NO work experience apart from working at McDonalds and he got 2 offers because he could relate what he learn ( communcation, organisation, responsibility, professionalism blah blah) to a medical environment

    so yea
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    It's really not. Well, in the UK anyway, i have talked to admission people from probably around 14 unis for medicine and they say it's obviously good to have relevant work experience but having ANY work experience where you have to communicate or where you show perseverance, motivation, commitment (that was a big one for Leicester) and aslong as you can write about what you've learn and how you'd be able to apply what you've learnt to a medical environment, you'll be fine

    My friend last year had NO work experience apart from working at McDonalds and he got 2 offers because he could relate what he learn ( communcation, organisation, responsibility, professionalism blah blah) to a medical environment

    so yea

    Depends where you're looking to apply, I suppose. All my friends applying for medicine are applying to top end unis and have been told by numerous places that work experience in the medical field is vital. Considering that OPs GCSE grades (when achieved) are very good, I imagine that OP will be considering the top 20 or so UK universities - which will want relevant work experience.
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    (Original post by perflous)
    Depends where you're looking to apply, I suppose. All my friends applying for medicine are applying to top end unis and have been told by numerous places that work experience in the medical field is vital. Considering that OPs GCSE grades (when achieved) are very good, I imagine that OP will be considering the top 20 or so UK universities - which will want relevant work experience.



    Just for reference, the unis i talked to were UCL (2nd), Glasgow (6th), newcastle (9th), leeds (11th), warwick (12th), sheffield (13th) , imperial, kings AND oxford who all agreed that having medical work experience is extremely useful - it is NOT vital. they really emphasised that, they said they understand not everyone can get work experience in a hospital or GPs, and they said they most valued long term commitments rather than an afternoon or 2 following someone
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    (but ye, medical experience is always fabby to talk about , just dont get too down if you can't get any
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    Thanks to all for the replies - they are very helpful and it's good to know that I'm preparing alright for the applications!

    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    UUUMMM yes this is fabulous! And it doesn't matter if you're work experience is in a medicine based environment or not. I've been to 8 open days and they all say IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO, IT'S WHAT YOU LEARN
    so learn learn lear, how have you developed? what skills have you developed? how are you communicating? you can write an amaaazing personal statement with that
    Ah thank you! That's reassuring to hear! I'll bear that in mind!! It's reassuring to know that you stand a decent chance even with not loads and loads of experience. I know that you can learn lots of skills and improve existing ones too in all sorts of tasks and you're not just having to be restricted to only medical experience though I'd definitely love to get on board some experience in medicine, and definitely a caring environment! Leicester as you were saying - it does sound like a good uni! I Guess when it comes to medicine it doesnt matter too much where you go and I'm not bothered about Russel Group either too much as I know there are some medical schools which are in the top 20 and aren't RG! I will see when the time comes!

    (Original post by ilovehotchocolate)
    Your local hospital might take you as a volunteer if they won't take you for specific work experience. I just made cups of tea, cleaned and tidied and did patient satisfaction surveys. I say "just", it was invaluable work experience. I had open access all over the hospital and plenty of time to sit and chat to patients about their experiences. You are also a little invisible on the wards, so you really get a feel for how the team works (or doesn't work), the pressures and realities. Anything is work experience if you spin it right and reflect correctly on it. I recommend starting a notebook to jot down brief notes on what you did, a gut feeling and go back a week later to add another thought once you've had time to process it.
    For example: In the care home you may be tidying up and you see a patient wailing in what you perceive to be pain. No one is paying any attention to her and you feel horrified. A week later, you realize the patient does this frequently, it's not pain, the patient is oblivious that they are doing it and everyone is really busy caring for other people because the home is tightly staffed. You make a note to research dementia and write three bullet points on how it affects patients and their families.
    This way it'll be much easier when you come to do personal statement writing and interview prep.
    Wow thanks for the info and advice - I'll bear it in mind! My parents are doctors at the nearby hospital but it's in a bit of a mess at the moment that I'm thinking of applying somewhere else! I'm looking forward to the care home though because it'll be interesting to chat to the elderley and also get an insight into the struggles associated with old age. I will definitely take some notes as I have done so with my previous experiences too and then research like you're saying! Thanks again!

    (Original post by perflous)
    Saying "it's not what you do, it's what you learn" can be applied to almost all subjects except medicine. When applying to study medicine, relevant work experience is as vital as qualifications themselves.

    (To OP: you're looking very good, but yeah, relevant work experience will be necessary)
    Thanks! I'm also thinking that IF I have time, I might join this club where you can volunteer with the disabled. Would you think this is relevant? Although that's totally dependent on time as I have a lot of sporting commitment as well....

    (Original post by perflous)
    Depends where you're looking to apply, I suppose. All my friends applying for medicine are applying to top end unis and have been told by numerous places that work experience in the medical field is vital. Considering that OPs GCSE grades (when achieved) are very good, I imagine that OP will be considering the top 20 or so UK universities - which will want relevant work experience.
    Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah I mean I'd love to go to like Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Sheffield, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool etc. (not really thinking about Oxbridge or UCL etc. unless I do better than I expect!) so I will try to make a rounded application with a bit of medical work experience and also experience in caring environments/interacting with the public - though I'm not ruling any uni out! Thanks again!

    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    Just for reference, the unis i talked to were UCL (2nd), Glasgow (6th), newcastle (9th), leeds (11th), warwick (12th), sheffield (13th) , imperial, kings AND oxford who all agreed that having medical work experience is extremely useful - it is NOT vital. they really emphasised that, they said they understand not everyone can get work experience in a hospital or GPs, and they said they most valued long term commitments rather than an afternoon or 2 following someone
    Haha sorry this is turning into such a long post!!!Ah I just saw you have listed a lot of unis I'm interested in ! I know Oxbridge tend to be quite heavy on academics with arguably a bigger weighting on "smartness" than medical work experience so I'll definitely bear your points in mind. Cheers for the detailed replies.
 
 
 
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