Gaining experience for medical school

This page gives an overview of the reasons why you need to gain experience before medical school and the main options available. There are also links to more detailed information where you can find out more.

Gaining experience for a career in health is important. It demonstrates that you’ve found out about the role you are interested in and have some understanding of what the work involves. This is particularly important before applying to medical school. Entry is extremely competitive and the training is long and demanding.

doctor with child

Medical schools expect applicants to have gained relevant experience. It will:

Any experience in healthcare is useful, but if at all possible you should try to have contact with patients and doctors and/or other healthcare professionals. Within reason, aim to get as much experience as you can. The more varied your experience, the better. You could combine a stint volunteering at a hospital with shadowing a GP, for example. This would give you a wider perspective on the different types of roles in medicine. The sooner you organise your experience, the more opportunities you will have.

Listen to current medical students talking about gaining work experience.

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