Applying to medical school? What do you need to know.

Applying to medical school? What do you need to know.

What do you need to know about applying to medical school?

If you are in college, and you have been thinking of a career in medicine, then you are probably best starting your preparation for it now. Even if you are not completely sold on the idea yet, start getting yourself ready. Medical school is crazy competitive, with around 10 applicants for each and every open spot on every course.

You are going to need to start your application process as soon as possible, and this means gaining the relevant experiences in relevant fields in order to start building the strongest application that you can. Failing to start strong can seriously harm your chances later.



What is the UKCAT?

The United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test,, is a computer-based test taken at Pearson Vue Centres, each year.

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test, to give it its Sunday name, is a computer-based test which is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK university Medical and Dental Schools.

This test It is run by the UKCAT Consortium, which is currently chaired by Nigel Siesage, in partnership with Pearson VUE. First introduced in 2006, it is now entering it 10th year of ‘service’

Personal statements for medicine

Personal statements for medicine

Medicine Personal statements are a vital thing to get right. It's your first foot in the door to going to medical school and becoming a doctor.

Firstly, we should probably explore what a personal statement is. You are probably familiar with the personal statement from job application forms and possibly your CV (if your doesn’t have a personal statement, it really should). The personal statement is probably the first item on your CV, and should be given the most attention.

Work Experience Within The NHS

Work Experience Within The NHS

Without a doubt, the best thing that you can do, in terms of preparing for a career with the NHS, is to get some on the job work experience. You could also undertake voluntary work, if you liked, in an area of health and social care and gain essential skills and experience that way.

Work experience, and voluntary work, will show you whether or not you are actually cut out for a career in medicine, and whether or not you would still like to pursue your chosen path after having a real world ‘taster’. These experiences can also show you what medical schools, and indeed employers, are looking for when making course or job applications.

Paying your way through medical school

Paying your way through medical school

Medical school isn’t exactly cheap, and the more you look at it the more the costs seem to mount up. Individual costs always look bad, but when you consider that you may be eligible for loans and grants, things suddenly don’t seem so costly.

Admission to medical school, some advice

Admission to medical school, some advice

Applying to medical school is full of pitfalls for the uneducated applicant. Follow the abundance of advice available and you wont go far wrong. If you can ensure you have a first class medicine personal statement, some meaningful work experience, great grades and a genuine passion for wanting to go into a healthcare career then a place in medical school is well within your reach.

Hospital Work Experience in the UK

‘Work experience’, from the Collins English Dictionary:


1.     experience of working   ⇒ You don't appear to have any work experience at all.

2.     (mainly British) work experience is a short period spent in a workplace, usually by young people, to learn what it is like to do that kind of work   ⇒ I'm going to do work experience in a factory.

Why should you even bother with ‘work experience’?

What exactly is the point of work experience? After all, you already know what you want to do, you are going to apply to medical school, so why bother with the extra hassle of work experience - isn’t it just a waste of time?

Good questions, but you need to carry out some work experience so that you can find out whether or not medicine really is for you or not and whether it is all you would hope. It is always best to test the water before jumping in, especially before investing an enormous amount of time and money in preparation for it.

Hospital work experience UK

This vocation is not just about science, or even medicine - it’s about people and the lives that are affected every single day. It is for this reason that medical schools look very closely at the work experience an applicant has undertaken, and what they have learned from it.

There are three roads that you can go down, in order to satisfy this particular requirement, and you should look at each before deciding which would be better for you and your personal circumstances.

      Work experience

      Work shadowing

      Voluntary work

Work experience does exactly what it says on the tin, and is useful for finding out what it is that a particular job involves. Work shadowing is what you probably expect it to be; you literally ‘shadow’ an individual while he, or she, goes about their daily duties.

Voluntary work is the same as a regular job, with duties and responsibilities and this can be part-time, holiday or ‘cover work’.

Work experience can be paid, but it may not be in an area that particularly interests you - this, however, should not stop you as long as it is relevant.

You can also use these opportunities to discover something about yourself, things like what you actually enjoy doing and what you are able to cope with in real world situations - discovering your innate abilities is a great way to push your own boundaries discover that you can do things that perhaps you never knew that you could.

You’re allowed to change your mind

Of course, as a result of your ‘work experience’ you may well decide that medicine isn’t for you. If you are determined to begin a career in the field, but with something not quite so demanding and intensive then there are certainly other avenues to explore:


      Speech therapy


      Special needs teaching, and more besides.

Get in early

There is something like 10 applicants for every opening, so getting in early is crucial - and doing it with the right qualification and, yes, work experience is going to make all the difference with your chances of success.