University & Degrees

9 innovative ways to get medical work experience

3 mins
May 18, 2022
If you’re thinking about doing a degree in medicine, then you’ll already know that it’s a super competitive field. Aspiring medics can’t rely on outstanding grades alone, they need to have some form of work experience! So how do you go about getting it? In this article, we’re listing 9 ways you can make your applications shine!

1.  Register your interest in Springpod’s Virtual Work Experience Programmes

We may be biased, but we think the easiest way of doing work experience is doing it from home! We’ve partnered with the NHS to put on a whole load of fantastic programmes, by taking part you’ll be able to explore almost every role in the NHS, from clinical to non-clinical. The best part about our programmes is that you'll be able to get up close and personal by asking questions in live webinars, you might even get to view a live surgery! You’ll complete work and assignments throughout the programme and receive your certificate at the end, which you can upload to your LinkedIn! So what are you waiting for? Browse all medicine-related programmes here and sign up for the one that suits you.

2. Speak to people in your network

You might be thinking what network?! But when starting out fellow students, teachers and careers advisors are all people that should be in your professional network.  It’s likely that a teacher or careers advisor has a contact that may be able to offer you a placement, after all, they’re always on the lookout for opportunities that could help their students. Another great resource is parents, ask yours or your friends - they’ll have professional connections too, so ask around, you might be glad you did!

3. First aid training

This one seems a little peculiar, but getting qualified in first aid training is a really useful skill and can open many doors. First aid is all about responding quickly to accidents and ensuring that injuries are dealt with quickly and effectively before a medical professional arrives to carry out more specialised care. Any role in medicine will benefit loads from having first aid training, and being qualified in first aid shows passion and care to ensure everyone gets a good quality of care. With your training you can volunteer to be a first aider almost anywhere, even most offices have a designated first aider, so it’s a great way of racking up experience.  

4. Speak to a medical professional

You can learn a lot from just speaking to a medical professional, they might not be able to offer you work experience but we’re sure they’ll be willing to give you 15 minutes of their time. Training in medicine is a huge commitment, it takes years! So speaking to someone in the field before you start is a great way to ensure you’re working effectively and efficiently. Also a medical professional may be able to point you in the direction of some work experience, it’s worth checking!

5. Join the British Medical Association

The BMA represents, supports and negotiates on behalf of all UK doctors and medical students. They are member-run and led, fighting for the best terms and conditions as well as lobbying and campaigning on the issues impacting the medical profession. Becoming a student member will get you access to discounted and free events, CPD and training, Webinars and masterclasses and the BMA library.

6. Charites and volunteer work

There are lots of charities and voluntary organisations dedicated to medical research and aid, whether it's Medecins Sans Frontieres or volunteering in a hospice. You’ll learn skills that are desperately needed to work in medicine like compassion, communication and patient care. If you end up volunteering for a medical research charity you’ll gain an appreciation for how drugs are developed and how they are prescribed. 

7. Shadow work

This is not making sure your lighting is on point for an amateur theatre production. Shadow work is all about shadowing a professional during their work day, you’ll be able to see how the role works day to day. Often when we think about medicine we think about helping patients but we don’t think necessarily think about paperwork or working with the wider medical team - shadow work helps to fill in the gaps between what you think the role will be like and actual reality.

8. Get in touch with your GP

Speak to your local practice and ask if they have any capacity to offer you some work experience, be sure to reach out with your CV and the dates when you’re available so you can get the ball moving as quickly as possible. The practice may require you to fill out a more in depth application, but it’s well worth spending some time on it as work experience in a general practice can be invaluable.

9. Trials

The Covid19 pandemic saw a huge race to produce and deliver a vaccine, but vaccines are constantly being developed for a whole range of illnesses. A lot of time and work goes into developing a vaccine and pharmaceutical companies always need clinical research volunteers. Have a look at GSK’s site to get more information.

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