is working at a pharmacy classed as med work experience?

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eighthirty
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i was just wondering if working at a pharmacy counts as work experience for med?
i did it last year during the first lockdown.
i havent been able to get anything else in person. i dont have any connections unlike everyone else in my year.
i emailed a hospital but they never got back to me so i dont really know where else i could go plus with covid it has been difficult
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Turning_A_Corner
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It’s depends what a university is asking for. If they are asking for experience of delivering hands on care (think personal care) then chances are it would not. If they’re asking for experience that helps you develop insight into a medical career, then no it doesn’t because it’s at best only tangentially related to what doctors do. But those two examples are more specific than what a lot of medical schools are really looking for at standard undergraduate entry, the first one anyway. You can develop insight into a medical career and the role of a doctor through online medical experience to the level that most medical schools are looking for, and as far as your pharmacy experience is concerned my advice would be to not try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. You’ll have gained some good skills for work out of this job that are transferable to a variety of roles, medicine included. Just having the experience of showing up on time every day, interacting with the general public, teamwork, and general professionalism are all things you’ll have learned there and can reflect on. You could probably have gained the same experience in any retail environment though so don’t be tempted to spin something out of it just because your shop front had a green cross on the front of it instead of a group of size 6 mannequins in the window! Maybe you’ve gained some insight via working there as to how Covid has affected services and the sorts of adaptations that have had to be made to keep going which will be relevant but, if it’s information you could have just read about rather than something that comes from genuine personal reflection, don’t mention it.

Do your online work experience like most everybody else and maybe look to pick up a volunteering opportunity that gives you insight into dedicating yourself to a cause, person or institution for a few months, if you haven’t already. This is why DoE is useful because it evidences the fact you’ve done it as opposed to someone else who might have made it up!

But don’t try to collect work experience. I had thousands of hours of work experience and it ultimately didn’t matter when it came to my UCAT not meeting the threshold at certain universities I applied for which raised the threshold unexpectedly high this last year. I’ll have been overlooked in favour of people who’ve barely got a few hours, if that. Because that’s the cold truth of medical school selections. A lot of very good candidates will have been overlooked in this way who’ve dedicated their entire school career to it and ended up with four rejections without interview, where theoretically someone (and realistically, at least a few people) who decided in June 2020 to apply by October 2020 will have got offers on the basis of a few well spun tales, a referee willing to look the other way, a good interview performance and a stellar UCAT score! Basically, you’re not going to be selected on the basis of how much experience you have, just on the basis of you meeting the minimum requirements for interview and giving a good performance there. And if you have good examples and reflections on work and volunteering to discuss at interview, you’ll have enough without having to collect more and more.

Reflect on what you have. Concentrate on a balanced application and make sure you give sufficient time to your UCAT and don’t forget or neglect to maintain your A level knowledge over the summer.
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