I personally think work experience is not just a tick-box exercise that you need to do for medicine, but it is actually really important to learn from – personally I learned that medicine really is what I wanted to do, and after each placement and volunteering session I did, this was confirmed even more. I’m not saying it was super easy, or even entirely enjoyable, because there are many not particularly enjoyable parts of medicine, whether that be having to tell patients they’ve got cancer, telling new parents their 2 day old baby is seriously ill and the future is unknown, or telling a patient waiting for a transplant that their journey into hospital was a false alarm and that the organ isn’t a match, or even worse, has had to be given to someone else. Medicine isn’t easy all of the time, but it is SO rewarding and that’s what makes up for all the bad things. Seeing a smile on a child’s face as they walk out the hospital ward they’ve been on for 3 months, seeing a patient walk for the first time in 6 weeks after surgery, seeing cancer patients be told that they’ve been in remission for 5 years and can be discharged from oncology.
All these examples I’ve listed above I have seen with my own eyes over the course of 5 years doing various different placements in different settings. It’s taught me not only what medicine involves, but how I react to the demands medicine. It’s shown me how important patient care is, how simple things can make a massive difference, and how medicine really was my dream.
But how do you get work experience when you’re considering medicine? I’ve made a video where I talk about what I think constitutes ‘good’ work experience, how to go about getting it, and 1 very useful tip at the end which you will kick yourself for (in the application process) if you don’t follow!
Good luck! ✨
Link to my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKEgTLy2uzM