Med schools in the UK require that applicants have some kind of work experience within healthcare as part of their minimum entry requirements.
This is usually to demonstrate an applicants passions for healthcare and to show them what they are in for.
There are 4 simple approaches to getting work experience; the hard part is repeating them till the desired effect is achieved.
Sending out plenty of emails to healthcare places for shadowing
Medical schools know that it is very hard to get work experience in hospitals and GP surgeries.
This is because most healthcare establishments and clinics have contracts with medical schools where their students occupy most of the volunteering or work placement spots, leaving practically nothing for school leaver.
The only way to get around this would be if your aunt, uncle, or parent happened to be the senior doctor or a health clinic, GP or hospital unit. This is unlikely to be the case so your best bet is to send out a ton of emails!
Luckily most medical schools accept shadowing of healthcare professionals that aren’t just doctors or nurse.
There is a long list composed of podiatrists, chemists, pharmacists, dieticians, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, pathologists, radiographers, etc. This is very long!
The best way to do this is searching for healthcare professionals in your area and copy paste emails into a word document.
Do this until you have around 40 emails. This will take you several hours to complete. Write out a template email, then send this to as many emails in your list as possible.
Don’t forget to change the healthcare profession in your template if you are applying to many different healthcare professions!
If you are applying to the same profession, feel free to Bcc all your contacts to save time. Time is always of the essence!
Getting a job
A minority of applicants will consider finding work in a care home or hospital as a healthcare assistant. If you can manage this, you should go for it as hands-on experience for a prolonged period of time is usually seen as much more valuable than a shadowing experience.
It shows dedication and passion, whilst proving you can make and keep commitments. Not a must but will help you in many aspects even if your medical application was unsuccessful.
As with getting a job, doing voluntary work shows you have passions in working for your community. If you are there for several months, it will also demonstrate your commitment.
Most people love going on holiday so why not use it as an opportunity to do good, help someone, and give your medical application a huge boost. Voluntary work abroad is looked upon highly by many admissions officers.
You may go alone or partner with a charity of your choice to visit places such as Thailand, Cambodia, and certain remote parts of Africa.
It could be something as simple as volunteering to be one of the english teachers, or football coaches for an orphanage.
Consider this as it will make your applications certainly stand out, and you will have plenty to talk about on your personal statement.