Real-life stories - work experience

Find some real-life stories below written by current doctors about their work experience.

GP in Leeds

Lizzie Cottrell, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow and 3rd year GP Specialty Trainee says:

“I undertook a range of work-experience prior to going to medical school including a week’s experience at the local community hospital, through school, where I shadowed a number of different doctors and nurses, weekly work experience with a local GP over a number of months and volunteering at a community hospital, speaking to the older patients who were on the ward a long time. I also gained experience of the hospital environment through paid work as a hospital domestic at the weekends from the age of 16 years old, making teas and cleaning the ward.

All of this experience was useful, but I would definitely recommend that students do not just shadow a consultant or GP prior to attending medical school, but also do some work experience that lets you really get chance to talk to patients.

I think that the risk of only shadowing senior doctors is that you observe what life may be life a long way down the track and, even then, they do not make you sit through them doing administration and management jobs so you do not get an accurate picture. If you find you don’t like talking to patients and/or find this very difficult, then you need to think twice about a career in medicine so using work experience to clarify this, I would say, would be the most valuable experience you could get.

Of all the experience I got, my paid job as a domestic was the best for exposing me to the sights and sounds of a medical environment (many not pleasant!) and gave me plenty of opportunity to learn how to gain rapport with patients.”

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