View from the admissions tutors: what type of work experience do you need?
Student BMJ asked four UK medical school admissions tutors what work experience applicants should aim to get in support of their application
- By: Matthew Billingsley
“It takes a lot of time and money to train doctors. Medical schools therefore want to take on students who have a good idea of what they are getting themselves into. That’s why work experience is so important: it gives applicants an understanding of medicine as a career and helps them to make an informed decision as to whether it is something they will find enjoyable and fulfilling.
Work experience can take many forms, but the most valuable types involve contact with patients. This doesn’t necessarily mean shadowing doctors at a hospital or a GP surgery. Fewer than half of the medical students at Imperial College have this type of work experience. The rest have undertaken other types of work or volunteering that has given them experience of communicating with and caring for people. This can include: working in hospices, care homes, disabled care centres, and looking after sick relatives.