If I can’t even get work experience, then I won’t succeed in medicine.

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10161002
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So I’m an average candidate, I am aware. I had 8A*s , 4As and 2 distinctions at GCSE. I have been volunteering for three years at a charity shop, one year at a care home, and am a St. John’s ambulance cadet. I’ve got bronze, silver and gold DofE and an spending a week in the summer working with a disability camp for my residential. I didn’t set up a charity group in my sixth firm to build a school in Ghana, i don’t have grade 8 french horn, and my parents aren’t doctors, nor is anyone I know well. All these credentials and points, but it strays from my main point. I recently got rejected form a work experience programme at a hospital near me. And if I can’t even get on a work experience programme, then what in hell makes me think I’ll habe any chance of getting into any medical school.

This may sound so inconsequential or little to you, but if I can’t even get work experience, then what am I doing pursuing medicine? I always thought that I’d have a chance, not in Russel group ones, but I dont care about uni rankings tbh, but lesser competitive ones. But work experience is such a small stepping stone which I can’t cross, so should I cut my loses and give up in medicine? My logic is that if placed in work experience is limited, so is med school (maybe even more so) and to fail at such an early stage Just riddled me with self doubt.

FYI I have tried work experience EVERYWHERE and it’s so heartbreaking when you had to email back and forth and call five different people to even get the forms to apply. I apply and weeks later I get a response saying they’ll get back to me. And then people who’s parents work there get a response the next day after applying confirming their place (this actually happened twice to me). The nepotism is just frustrating and I honestly feel like giving up.
To get an idea, I spoke to three different GP branches and three hospitals. All either rejected me or gave me an email and never replied.

Note; yes, rejection is a part of life I should deal with it. But I have never had rejection in this scale, when everyone around me tells me I need work experience or I don’t have a chance, and everyone either uses their ‘connections’ or buys it. I can’t do either and it’s just really disheartening.

I love working at the care home, I love chatting to the people there and making fifty cups of tea, but I just feel like I can’t spin it to be anything more than volunteering, and nit clinical experience.
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AzureCeleste
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Work experience programmes have limited spaces
Many people struggle to get work experience as it's so hard to come by.
Care home volunteering is the perfect substitute for it. You will have a lot to talk about relating to it.
Additionally, you have plenty of time to find work experience still
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ax12
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I think you’re dramatising the situation slightly. Work experience places are incredibly limited and difficult to come by. You have a lot of extracurricular stuff already so try local care homes or GP surgeries to see if you can spend some time there. I got hospital work experience by directly emailing consultants using contact details on the NHS websites, you could try that as well. Medical applications are a long and stressful process and there will be a lot of knock backs, and you need to build up a way to cope with that.

Edit: just seen you’ve already got some care home experience. Hospital/GP would be good to talk about but at the same time isn’t essential. It’s all about how you spin it in your personal statement.
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(Original post by 10161002)
...I always thought that I’d have a chance, not in Russel group ones, but I dont care about uni rankings tbh, but lesser competitive ones....
Yeah.... ummm... The Russell Group matters not at all for medicine. In fact many non-RG medical schools are more competitive than RG ones.

For example, https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni...etition-ratios you can see that the ratio for Brighton Sussex is much higher than Cambridge.
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10161002
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(Original post by ecolier)
Yeah.... ummm... The Russell Group matters not at all for medicine. In fact many non-RG medical schools are more competitive than RG ones.

For example, https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni...etition-ratios you can see that the ratio for Brighton Sussex is much higher than Cambridge.
This just supports that I should give up tbh.
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ax12
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(Original post by 10161002)
This just supports that I should give up tbh.
It clearly doesn’t. Take the advice that people have given you and apply strategically. You need to learn to take rejection and look at how you can improve for future applications, whether that’s for other work experience or your medicine application.
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ecolier
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(Original post by 10161002)
This just supports that I should give up tbh.
Not at all, I am just correcting your misconceptions that "Russell Group" is more desirable and more competitive. They are not. Graduating from Keele is every bit as impressive as a degree from Cambridge; and no one will look down on you because you did Medicine at Aberdeen and not Oxford.

Just make sure you apply strategically to your strengths, do well at UKCAT / BMAT and your interviews!
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10161002
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(Original post by ecolier)
Not at all, I am just correcting your misconceptions that "Russell Group" is more desirable and more competitive. They are not. Graduating from Keele is every bit as impressive as a degree from Cambridge; and no one will look down on you because you did Medicine at Aberdeen and not Oxford.

Just make sure you apply strategically to your strengths, do well at UKCAT / BMAT and your interviews!
No I agree about the Russel not being anymore desirable, at the end of the day you become a doctor regardless. I said that because I thought that Russel was inherently more competitive, seems I was wrong. According to the page you linked, I shouldn’t apply according to uni competitiveness/ ratio., and everyone is saying to apply strategically, but I’m not sure what else I could take into consideration. I think I’d struggle to get to interview considering my current lack of work experience.
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georgimidd
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you are not an average candidate with those gcses! i know people with lower gcses than that who got into medicine. having work experience in hospitals is good but also very hard to get and many unis don’t specify that you have to have work experience in hospitals. they want to see that you care and have empathy and by volunteering in a care home shows that you have those qualities. if you want to become a doctor you shouldn’t be giving up this easily
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ecolier
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(Original post by 10161002)
...I shouldn’t apply according to uni competitiveness/ ratio.,
Correct

and everyone is saying to apply strategically, but I’m not sure what else I could take into consideration.
Just apply according to your stats (GCSEs, A-Levels, eventual UKCAT score / SJT band, if you have any special circumstances - e.g. if you live North West consider UCLAN)

I think I’d struggle to get to interview considering my current lack of work experience.
It's not just about work experience. I did 3 days and got in. It's about quality of it and not the quantity.
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10161002
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(Original post by ax12)
It clearly doesn’t. Take the advice that people have given you and apply strategically. You need to learn to take rejection and look at how you can improve for future applications, whether that’s for other work experience or your medicine application.
I’m sorry, that was how I interpreted it. You say I need to learn a way to cope with it, not sure how to though? Btw I was rejected both times on accounts of my grades or just pied off, I never wrote a statement-esque thing. So I can’t improve really per say. I will try to email, consultants but I’m afraid the general deadline for applying was at the end of January. Thnks anyway.
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ax12
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(Original post by 10161002)
I’m sorry, that was how I interpreted it. You say I need to learn a way to cope with it, not sure how to though? Btw I was rejected both times on accounts of my grades or just pied off, I never wrote a statement-esque thing. So I can’t improve really per say. I will try to email, consultants but I’m afraid the general deadline for applying was at the end of January. Thnks anyway.
Ignore the general deadline if you’re emailing consultants, I got mine outside of the official channels.

Cope as in don’t catastrophise. At the end of the day these rejections don’t matter. If you get pre or post interview rejections for medicine get feedback and act on it.
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I took a gap year because I couldn’t get enough work experience. A lot of hospitals have a volunteers programme which would provide valuable work experience. GPs are very difficult to gain work experience at so try hospitals. For example, I emailed every department I could at local hospitals to give me a chance and managed to get work experience at a paediatric cardiology department in a hospital. And as previously mentioned above me, email consultants if their emails are provided.
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girl_in_black
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If you have friends or classmates who have gotten placements - ask the details of the people they contacted. You maybe might have more luck if you say you study with those students when you contact the hospital.

Another thing to consider is to contact hospitals a bit further away from where you live - I know people who have struggled to get placements in large teaching hospitals but managed to get them in a smaller district general hospital. The hospital pharmacy is also worth a try - obviously not the same as shadowing a doctor, but still gives you a bit of a better understanding of how hospitals work. Or if you know any doctors, speaking to them about their training and work would still be worthwhile even if you can't actually shadow them.

If all else fails, consider going to talks aimed at school students such as those ran by the RCPE: https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/careers-training/schools

The above link is for last year's programme but they do them every year. I'm pretty sure they web-stream their talks, but you would have to contact the College to find out how that works (they are very good at replying to emails).

Good luck, it sounds like you are doing all the right things!
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(Original post by 10161002)
So I’m an average candidate, I am aware. I had 8A*s , 4As and 2 distinctions at GCSE. I have been volunteering for three years at a charity shop, one year at a care home, and am a St. John’s ambulance cadet. I’ve got bronze, silver and gold DofE and an spending a week in the summer working with a disability camp for my residential. I didn’t set up a charity group in my sixth firm to build a school in Ghana, i don’t have grade 8 french horn, and my parents aren’t doctors, nor is anyone I know well. All these credentials and points, but it strays from my main point. I recently got rejected form a work experience programme at a hospital near me. And if I can’t even get on a work experience programme, then what in hell makes me think I’ll habe any chance of getting into any medical school.

This may sound so inconsequential or little to you, but if I can’t even get work experience, then what am I doing pursuing medicine? I always thought that I’d have a chance, not in Russel group ones, but I dont care about uni rankings tbh, but lesser competitive ones. But work experience is such a small stepping stone which I can’t cross, so should I cut my loses and give up in medicine? My logic is that if placed in work experience is limited, so is med school (maybe even more so) and to fail at such an early stage Just riddled me with self doubt.

FYI I have tried work experience EVERYWHERE and it’s so heartbreaking when you had to email back and forth and call five different people to even get the forms to apply. I apply and weeks later I get a response saying they’ll get back to me. And then people who’s parents work there get a response the next day after applying confirming their place (this actually happened twice to me). The nepotism is just frustrating and I honestly feel like giving up.
To get an idea, I spoke to three different GP branches and three hospitals. All either rejected me or gave me an email and never replied.

Note; yes, rejection is a part of life I should deal with it. But I have never had rejection in this scale, when everyone around me tells me I need work experience or I don’t have a chance, and everyone either uses their ‘connections’ or buys it. I can’t do either and it’s just really disheartening.

I love working at the care home, I love chatting to the people there and making fifty cups of tea, but I just feel like I can’t spin it to be anything more than volunteering, and nit clinical experience.
Hey
Definitely don't give up on your hopes and dreams of pursuing medicine. Are you currently in sixth form? You have plenty of time to think about your future and you may find specialist niches in your further studies that interest you - medicine is a broad spectrum in terms of studying!
Yes, medical schools are competitive, but every person applying is going through the same thing; having the same thoughts, doubts and concerns. My advice would be to continue trying to gain placements and studying hard, it's a very competitive field and giving up won't get you ahead!
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Captain Holt
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(Original post by 10161002)
So I’m an average candidate, I am aware. I had 8A*s , 4As and 2 distinctions at GCSE. I have been volunteering for three years at a charity shop, one year at a care home, and am a St. John’s ambulance cadet. I’ve got bronze, silver and gold DofE and an spending a week in the summer working with a disability camp for my residential. I didn’t set up a charity group in my sixth firm to build a school in Ghana, i don’t have grade 8 french horn, and my parents aren’t doctors, nor is anyone I know well. All these credentials and points, but it strays from my main point. I recently got rejected form a work experience programme at a hospital near me. And if I can’t even get on a work experience programme, then what in hell makes me think I’ll habe any chance of getting into any medical school.

This may sound so inconsequential or little to you, but if I can’t even get work experience, then what am I doing pursuing medicine? I always thought that I’d have a chance, not in Russel group ones, but I dont care about uni rankings tbh, but lesser competitive ones. But work experience is such a small stepping stone which I can’t cross, so should I cut my loses and give up in medicine? My logic is that if placed in work experience is limited, so is med school (maybe even more so) and to fail at such an early stage Just riddled me with self doubt.

FYI I have tried work experience EVERYWHERE and it’s so heartbreaking when you had to email back and forth and call five different people to even get the forms to apply. I apply and weeks later I get a response saying they’ll get back to me. And then people who’s parents work there get a response the next day after applying confirming their place (this actually happened twice to me). The nepotism is just frustrating and I honestly feel like giving up.
To get an idea, I spoke to three different GP branches and three hospitals. All either rejected me or gave me an email and never replied.

Note; yes, rejection is a part of life I should deal with it. But I have never had rejection in this scale, when everyone around me tells me I need work experience or I don’t have a chance, and everyone either uses their ‘connections’ or buys it. I can’t do either and it’s just really disheartening.

I love working at the care home, I love chatting to the people there and making fifty cups of tea, but I just feel like I can’t spin it to be anything more than volunteering, and nit clinical experience.
Having been in your situation last year (current yr 13 here), the stuff you’ve got is already amazing. It’s not about how much work experience you do, it’s about how you can reflect on it and how it links in with being a doctor. Keep trying with work experience in hospitals, but if you can’t get anything, don’t stress.
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sotor
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your work experience in a care home sounds great, sounds like you've really put a lot into it
it matters more that you can reflect on what you did in your work experience than you've worked in 10 different places because your dad is the top surgeon in a field and knows everybody! is there a time where you've gone above and beyond for a resident, noticed their needs before someone else, seen someone was down and made them a cup of tea and had a chat? a care home is the perfect place to show empathy which med schools want examples of in your ps.

if youre still interested in clinical work experience, try contacting departments directly. if there's a secretary contact them. chase them up as well if you don't hear back!! no harm in checking in regularly and showing you're keen. i would be wary of contacting hospitals outside of your local area as some won't accept work experience students from a different trust's area.

but you absolutely can get into medicine without clinical work experience.
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morebless14
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The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in London is offering 5 day placements for a lot of weeks till like March 2020. And check out Nuffield Departments of medicine at Oxford different departments eg surgical sciences, rheumatology offer placements or research projects during summer. Try applying out of your city that is what I have done. Hope this helps xx
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