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How relevant is work experience in pathology? watch

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    Hi,
    So I'm planning on applying to medicine for 2019 entry and, in terms of 'work experience' I have currently organised 5 days in a pathology department and 1 day at a GP surgery. I also volunteer weekly on an radiotherapy/ chemotherapy ward, and am planning to ask a few doctors there if I can follow them around for a bit.

    The vast majority of hospitals I emailed about work experience said that I was not at a college in the right area to apply- the ones nearby are not available because they only accept requests for experience through schemes in schools/colleges, and my college isn't part of any of these schemes (I have no idea why and, if I knew, I probably would have gone to a college which was part of them).

    One hospital I emailed had the opportunity for work experience in only either radiology (1 day) or pathology (5 days). This is likely to do with issues surrounding patient contact, and it may have been more expensive or complicated for the hospital to organise insurance for placements with lots of this.

    Whilst I am very excited for the pathology placement, I know that having a good understanding of communication between doctors and patients will be very important in applying to medicine. I try to keep an eye out when I volunteer, and have learnt some things from this. I think that there's a lot I can learn about medicine from the placement observing pathologists(although I won't know until I've done it!), so can anyone gauge how relevant the experience might be without much observation of the doctor-patient relationship? Has anybody done a pathology placement before ? How limited is patient contact with pathologists? How can I make the most out of it ?

    If anybody has any reply to any of the above questions, help would be appreciated.

    Thank you !
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    Worth taking what you can get, I suppose. One would hope that medical schools will understand how difficult it can be to get work exp. But I do think that a specialty with more patient contact would help too.

    Could you possibly contact some consultants directly and see if they'd let you do some work experience?

    (Still go ahead with the pathology experience, of course. And your volunteering on chemotherapy ward sounds good. Actually, why not ask one of the consultants there if you can observe ward rounds, clinics etc for a few days?)
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    Worth taking what you can get, I suppose. One would hope that medical schools will understand how difficult it can be to get work exp. But I do think that a specialty with more patient contact would help too.

    Could you possibly contact some consultants directly and see if they'd let you do some work experience?

    (Still go ahead with the pathology experience, of course. And your volunteering on chemotherapy ward sounds good. Actually, why not ask one of the consultants there if you can observe ward rounds, clinics etc for a few days?)
    Thanks- yeah, I definitely wouldn't not go or anything- I'm just hoping I can learn a few important things about being a doctor from it.
    I really want to ask someone on the ward about possibly shadowing them, but they always seem so busy and I don't want to interrupt their work! I know I'll have to, though, and many seem quite friendly so hopefully the outcome would be positive. At this point, it seems like the best option.

    About contacting the consultants directly - do you mean email them or something ? Wouldn't that be a bit invasive if I don't know them?
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    (Original post by gomgossa)
    Thanks- yeah, I definitely wouldn't not go or anything- I'm just hoping I can learn a few important things about being a doctor from it.
    I really want to ask someone on the ward about possibly shadowing them, but they always seem so busy and I don't want to interrupt their work! I know I'll have to, though, and many seem quite friendly so hopefully the outcome would be positive. At this point, it seems like the best option.

    About contacting the consultants directly - do you mean email them or something ? Wouldn't that be a bit invasive if I don't know them?
    Well, you could speak personally to one of the doctors on the chemotherapy ward, I suppose.

    Yes, I did mean to email them directly. My reasoning was that you seem to be getting held up by the hospitals' "work experience policy". Whereas you might get some consultant who'll just say, "yeah sure, turn up, that's fine", thus bypassing the hospital's "formal process".

    I think I just phoned some doctors' secretaries in my local hospital back when I was applying. I tried a couple, and one of them said I could do a week of work experience with them.

    Do you have any family contacts whatsoever? I had no doctors in my family, but had family friends who were nurses, who were able to give me contact details for consultants (although as above, I had actually already had some success with just phoning randomly).
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    Well, you could speak personally to one of the doctors on the chemotherapy ward, I suppose.

    Yes, I did mean to email them directly. My reasoning was that you seem to be getting held up by the hospitals' "work experience policy". Whereas you might get some consultant who'll just say, "yeah sure, turn up, that's fine", thus bypassing the hospital's "formal process".

    I think I just phoned some doctors' secretaries in my local hospital back when I was applying. I tried a couple, and one of them said I could do a week of work experience with them.

    Do you have any family contacts whatsoever? I had no doctors in my family, but had family friends who were nurses, who were able to give me contact details for consultants (although as above, I had actually already had some success with just phoning randomly).
    If all else fails, I might email a few consultants. What do I have to lose, I guess ? I could even email some of them who work on my ward if I don’t physically go up to them.

    I have been asking lots of family and friends if they know any doctors, but they don’t. My aunties are both nurses- one just retired- but they work in mental health and don’t seem to be comfortable with me doing work experience in that area, suggesting that the patients are too unstable and it’s not the right environment for observation. One has a friend who knows a consultant and I’m currently working on that haha.

    I think I’m going to branch out some more, though, and see if I can get hold of any distant cousins who might know doctors? Idek. I just want enough to be optimally confident in my application.
 
 
 
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