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Work Experience

What should Work Experience provide?

Work experience is a great way to know whether you can actually see yourself in that career or not.


Medical work experience is of course great, as it will provide an insight into the field. But, non-medical is also useful as it could tell you the non-medicine life is just not for you (or is for you, in which case maybe another course should be considered)!


Work experience spans a range of options:

  1. Volunteering

  2. Hospital and theatres

  3. General Practice

  4. Dental Practice

  5. Oversees placements


You do not need to do all of these, and most of my colleagues never did. Work experience is challenging to get hold of and it does not need to be extravagant to have a lasting impact on your admissions tutor.


We believe it should follow the three R’s:

  • Relevant

  • Realistic

  • Reflective



  • Informative and relevant to your decision process of Medicine/Dentistry


  • Provides an insight into the world of Medicine/Dentistry whether that is a glimpse of theatre or a multidisciplinary team meeting – this is the real career and you would be expected to comment on why that is important



  • How have your observations made you feel? What have you learnt from what you have seen of patients or the way the health professionals interacted with the patients?


We have devised a form that will make it easier for you to gather your thoughts during your work experience, and also make personal statement writing much easier.


Fill in the form either during work experience or after your observation work whilst it is still fresh. Use a blank copy for every new day, observation or experience!


Download our guidance form for free here. We have given examples of what you could write in each section of the table (in blue).

We understand work experience can be difficult to organise. We have devised two templates for you to download and edit. 

Be sure to prepare a Work Experience Application form - download your template here.


After your work experience you could also email for a reference for your future portfolio - download our template for this here

During this current climate, work experience can be challenging. 

The Medical School's Council (MSC) have issued recent guidance for this, we have summarised this below. 

​1. Keep a reflective diary - both our free logbooks will help with this! The MSC say: “Many healthcare professionals are posting online about their experience of working during the pandemic. Listen to what they have to say and reflect on this.”

  • We have made two reflective logbooks - the first is for any work experience or volunteering work you may have already had (download here).

  • The next, is for this particular period - and includes ways to reflect on things you have learnt during this time e.g. a recent news article, media post or podcast. Download this one here

2. Volunteer if you can!

  • Lots of guidance about this is provided on our website, examples volunteering for the NHS, the Nextdoor campaign- see our website for links.

  • If this isn’t possible, even helping a vulnerable neighbour with tasks such as food shopping is a fantastic way to get involved. Even though this may not count as traditional work experience, you’re still in a caring role (and used initiative) and could still talk about your experiences at an interview.

3. Use online resources (read more here!)


How can Step2Med help? 

Please be sure to follow our "In The Life Of" series where we post regular articles written by a range of medical and dental students, and doctors and dentists. This way you can gauge an understanding of the various stages of the vocation. 

We are holding a Webinar in June, please be sure to sign up. This will be a series of 3 webinars: Work Experience, Personal Statement and Choosing Your Medical/Dental School. You can use these as part of your virtual experience.








It can be challenging getting work experience, read our 4  Top Tips here, download the templates above and if you need any further guidance then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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