About four years ago I wrote this:
I think it still applies – perhaps more so. But I still haven’t seen anyone in my form do it.
Just imagine how often an admissions tutor reads something like this:
To further my insight into the medical field I participated in a work shadowing week at a GP surgery. I gained a valuable understanding of the workings of the surgery, with opportunities to observe and speak to the doctors regarding a medical career. I arranged another placement week myself at a local hospital, which was a superb opportunity to observe medicine from another point of view. I observed the ward rounds, an MRI scan, a skin biopsy and an endosocpy clinic all which I found interesting. I spent the most time with the haematology team, responsible for patients with diseases such as Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML), haematology being one of my interests it was captivating that I could see the specialty from a more complex side than the AS biology course. For example I was able to understand how the level of platelets affects blood clotting. Throughout the week I expanded my confidence and communication skills through speaking to patients and doctors. Although I enjoyed the week it was at times extremely heart-rending, I was able to get close to many of the terminally ill patients helping and caring for them where I could, getting them tea or just talking and empathising with them to build their spirits.
Now don’t get me wrong: that is very impressive, but applicants for competitive places have to be impressive, and there will be more very impressive applications than there places available.
So imagine if, in addition to the catalogue of work experience comments, an applicant could add:
You can read more about my work experience, and my interest in medicine at the website I set up for me and my fellow prospective medical school hopefuls at http://www.themedschoolproject.com/p/about-us.html
That is very impressive example, but to be honest I’ve found it a bit difficult to track down good blogs about work-experience, or the learning journey undertaken by people before university. This is good news. It means you have a chance to really stand out. Even a simple blog like this that tracks a prospective vet from struggling to find a placement at the start to dealing with impalas and rhinos in South Africa is a lot better than nothing. I’m sure you could do better than that though. Let me know if you want any advice on setting a blog up, but it really is very straightforward, and it’s yet another way of showing your commitment to whatever you are pursuing in life.