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Medicine Work Experience

Some universities specify on their website what work experience they require their medicine applicants to have as part of their medical school prerequisites, whilst others are more flexible and just give general suggestions. Generally, the more work experience you can get in Medicine, the better for your application – and your understanding of the subject before medical school.

Our expert admissions consultants are available throughout the week.

What kind of medical work experience do I need?

doctor giving consultation to student

It is best to find a balance between the number of placements you take and the depth to which you are embedded in each one. While you need to see a range of medical practice, it is of limited benefit if you are only gaining a superficial understanding of the profession. The amount of work experience most students will have is usually limited by practicalities; your experience will be predominantly limited to your holidays from school, and placements can be difficult to arrange.

A good aim is to have completed at least the following by the time you write your medical school Personal Statement – both to demonstrate the necessary dedication to the caring professions (and medicine specifically), and to give you relevant experiences to write about:

  • One week in a primary healthcare setting – e.g. GP work experience.

  • 2x one-week periods in a secondary (or tertiary/quaternary) healthcare setting – i.e. hospital work experience.

  • A long-term (>1 year) volunteering commitment with a potentially vulnerable population:

    • Children

    • People with disabilities

    • The elderly

    • People in mental distress

    • Refugees

    • Homeless people

  • A short-term volunteering placement with a different demographic.

GP surgery, or hospital work experience?

The two main ways that Medicine applicants seek work experience are by shadowing GPs or by working in a secondary healthcare setting such as a hospital. Click below to read the ways that these placements can differ.

Successful Medicine Applicant, 2015

We are passionate about providing personal support for every applicant who needs it. If you would like guidance to help you answer your questions, contact our in-house medical admissions consultants to talk them through:



+44 (0)20 7399 1990 or email us on info@dukesmedicalapplications.com