COVID-19 and Work Experience Alternatives

Admissions

2020-04-06

Has your work experience been postponed or cancelled because of COVID-19? Here we explore the alternatives that will still look great on your medical school application.

We’re all in this together, including medical school admissions tutors, so they will understand if your application is lacking recent relevant work experience or incomplete work experience. 

Remember the wise words of Captain Jack Sparrow:

 “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” 

You can still impress medical school admission tutors by filling this isolation time with valuable activities that show your positive and productive attitude, commitment and motivation for studying medicine. 

Below are four ideas to fill your time, gain a realistic view of a career in medicine and improve your medical school application while stuck in quarantine:

Virtual medical work experience:

YouTube has a wealth of NHS junior doctor vloggers who discuss and show the reality of their working days in hospitals to give their viewers a good understanding of what the role really involves. 

Dr. Hope’s channel Sick Notes where he openly shares his experiences, the pros and cons and how being a junior doctor influences his personal life, is a great channel to subscribe to. 

Virtual experiences provide a more visual experience in the real medical environment, you could even ask questions in the comments and they might be answered by the YouTube channel owner if they have spare time. There are also lots of medical school students on YouTube so you could see what they are up to while medical school has been put on hold and direct any questions to them too.

Read, read, read while you’ve got the chance:

Reading the autobiographies and biographies of junior doctors, consultants and surgeons is another way to gain insight into the world of medicine. This genre of reading material provides great details on managing example case-studies, the issues that surrounded them and how they were and/or could have been managed better or differently. 

For example, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt has lots of discussion points that would be ideal to quote when asked a question during your medical school interviews which you can relate to the point in a certain book you’ve read. 

For a list of our top five favourite books check out Top 5 Good Books to Read Before Applying to Medical School.

Look forward towards your medical school future:

Still plan out your medical school application and work experience and consider contacting your original place of work experience to see if they can move your placement date rather than cancel it.

Or, if that doesn’t work, think about where else would be good to do work experience in the future when COVID-19 has calmed down and prepare an application to apply for it or email them to enquire now.

Think about your past non-medical work experience. For example, how could you use your retail work experience to your advantage in your medical school application? Skills gained through this experience are transferable such as customer care and patient care both require communication skills. 

Volunteering during COVID-19:

This option should only be considered under careful and well thought-out consideration along with the government’s guidelines as you may put yourself at risk, your family and those you volunteer to help. 

You can check with your local council’s website for volunteer placements to help people who are isolated and do not have support during COVID-19 quarantine. So far 750,000 people have applied to help the NHS and their local communities during this pandemic. 

Obviously, your main purpose of volunteering during COVID-19 is to help and support your community and the NHS during these difficult times but the experience would count as work experience.

To stay up-to-date with the possible changes COVID-19 might bring to this year's UCAT testing season, bookmark our live updates page here.


Feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious? Please don’t worry, head over to our UCAT 2020 Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process.

We have a bank of over 10,000 questions, a decision-making section, and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams; we even give you performance feedback too.

We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify’s here to support you, just reach out to us.

Note: In response to COVID-19, Medify has rolled out a COVID-19 guarantee scheme for those purchasing a UCAT season pass. This means that even if the UCAT exam is delayed, we will guarantee access to the Medify platform until your exam date.

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