Work experience is a crucial part of your medicine personal statement. Instead of writing a paragraph listing various places you gained experience, you should use your work experience to help you demonstrate your dedication and drive to learn more about medicine.

Each university will have their own requirements and attitudes to work experience. For example, the medical schools at Cardiff and Leeds are among those which formally assess the non-academic aspects of your application. Contrastingly, the likes of Oxford and Imperial will use them less formally, more to get a greater perspective of the candidate as a whole and their suitability to the vocation.

Pick out the Best Bits

When planning the work experience section of your medicine personal statement, take time to consider the things you learned in each placement.

While 4 work experience placements doing the same thing in the same department may have generally given you exposure to one thing, try to think more about how it motivated you rather than the actual tasks.

If you did get the opportunity to perform any tests during your work experience, don’t be too quick to brag. Instead, evaluate each experience. If you can only pick out one key experience from your placements, that is fine. If you have had exposure to different places, such as a doctor’s surgery and a hospital, you may be able to pinpoint key moments.

Soft Skills

Discuss moments which helped you to evaluate or confirm your desire to study medicine and pursue a career in it. Soft skills are equally as important as the intelligence needed in medicine.

It is one thing to be talented academically, but people skills and social interactions are paramount, and sometimes difficult, in this profession. Demonstrating that you have had exposure to this and understand the importance of these soft skills is another key factor.

Think of these two words: Learning & Impact. With each piece of work experience you choose to discuss, consider and evaluate what you learned and the impact it had on your decision to study medicine. Remember, it is fine to highlight both highs and lows, so long as they are relevant.

Whatever you do, though, do not put yourself down.

No Need to Name Drop

You don’t have to, and in fact, shouldn’t list the names of the places you did work experience.

The people reading your application won’t be bothered about which hospital you went to. What they do care about is how it has shaped or inspired you.

Being Proactive

In all walks of life, it is great to see an applicant’s proactivity to go out and grab opportunities whenever they can. With medicine, it is especially important.

Having the drive to seek out opportunities on your own, not just wherever school sends you, demonstrates that you truly do have a desire to pursue this career. This is a key measure of motivation and will be picked up on by the people reading your application.

Voluntary Work

Your voluntary work, whether directly related to medicine or not, can also be a great way to demonstrate soft skills.

Whether you have coached a school sports team or volunteered at a care home, you will have developed skills that will help you in your career. For example, teamwork and confidence are skills you can learn in many different situations and are all highly important in medical practice.

Writing About Work Experience

When constructing your medical personal statement, select the skills and learning you wish to discuss and then you can relate them to your application.

The admissions director at Kings College London stated that too often, applications “look like a shopping list”. This can easily happen if you reel off the different hospitals or departments you did work experience at.

To avoid the shopping list effect, identifying the impacts of these experiences and write about said impact. Admissions teams will learn a lot more about you this way, and you can showcase your motivations in an effective way.

Your Medicine Personal Statement

Remember that the discussion of your work experience is just one component of a strong personal statement. Tackling each element of the medicine personal statement, even just by brainstorming or mind-mapping it out, can help you to make sure you have included everything possible to showcase your strong capability to succeed in medicine.

Often, some applicants have trouble trying to cut down all of their fantastic experiences and motivations to fit into the word count. If you need some pointers on how you can cleverly cut down words without sacrificing the best bits of your medicine personal statement, take a look at our blog on reducing the word count of your medicine personal statement.

In our successful medicine personal statement example and analysis we cover step by step what led to that medicine personal statement receiving four offers for medical school. If you require any further information to help you build the perfect application, then you could also get in touch with the admissions teams directly.

Medicine Personal Statement Review

Should you require any additional guidance or a second opinion on your medical school personal statement, we can help. With our personal statement review service, your personal statement will be reviewed by both a professional medical admissions editor and a fully qualified doctor, who received all four UCAS offers to study Medicine. The doctor will check any factual details and the editor can suggest any tweaks, making sure that your Medicine personal statement is the best that it can be.

If you would like us to review your whole application as well as the personal statement, our 360-degree application review is an alternative option for you.

Feel free to get in touch about any questions regarding your application to study medicine.