About the course

  • Why do I need to do work experience before applying to medical school?

    When applying to medical school, it is important to demonstrate that you have an understanding of what it means to work in medicine, which is normally achieved through undertaking work experience. This is normally a temporary or long-term placement or employment in a healthcare setting, such as a community surgery or a hospital ward. The purpose of work experience is to provide individual insight into the roles of healthcare professionals, the structure and function of healthcare services and teams, and the wider issues surrounding medical practice and the NHS. This allows potential medical school applicants more informed decisions about whether they want to apply to study medicine or not. Importantly, work experience gives applicants an opportunity to assess themselves and see if they have the skills and qualities that make them suited for a career as a doctor.

  • What is reflection?

    Just doing work experience is not enough; the best applicants to medical school are not the ones with the largest amounts of work experience to describe. Using these experiences to best support your application requires to critically analyse them in a process called reflection.

  • What is relevant work experience?

    Relevant work experience does not just include that undertaken in a healthcare environment; experience in other areas can be just as appropriate and valuable. For example, working in a nursery or in customer service can help you demonstrate that you have some of the important skills or qualities that would help you succeed as a doctor.

  • What is the aim of this course?

    The aim of this work experience course is to provide you with insights into six different medical specialities, whilst highlighting both the key skills required to work within those areas, as well as some of the challenges faced.

  • Does this course aim to replace "in-person" work experience?

    This course is not designed to completely replace experience completed in the real world, but to provide an insight into medicine and being a doctor. The content explored may supplement work experience already achieved and/or allow you to build knowledge in areas of medicine you may have not had access to. As such, this virtual work experience tool will hopefully help you make an informed decision of whether applying to medical school is right for you.

  • How is the content delivered?

    The content is delivered through presentations, videos, quizzes and interactivity activities.

  • How long will the course take to complete?

    You can take as few or as many hours as you like complete the course. There is no deadline! On average it takes around 7-9 hours.

  • What will I get out of the course?

    After submitting both pre- and post-course surveys as well as a reflective piece of work, you will be awarded a certificate of completion. The real value of the course, however, is your reflection on the information presented - thinking about what you have learnt about medicine and how you might link the skills required by doctors, to those you have demonstrated through your our own experiences. It is this reflection that medical schools are interested in hearing about!

Course Objectives

  • Understand the organisation of the NHS in terms of primary, secondary and tertiary care
  • Recognise the ways in which patients can access healthcare and how and why patients move through different services in the NHS
  • Become familiar with reflecting on work experience
  • Develop and understanding of the roles of different types of doctor, including GPs, consultants and foundation doctors
  • Appreciate the ways that a doctor and other Healthcare Professionals manage patients
  • Consider the typical training pathways and timelines in common branches of medicine
  • Identify the most important skills and qualities that doctors should possess and be developing throughout their career, and give examples of why these are so important
  • Consider the biggest present and future challenges faced by the NHS
  • Stimulate thinking into the wider considerations surrounding modern medicine, including politics, law and ethics

Reflective Pieces

As part of the course, you will submit a reflective piece of work highlighting what you have learnt from the course. There is no specified format for this work and as such, we have reviewed a fantastic array of reflections, from mind maps to poems to comic strips and video; we've even had a recipe!
An example of a reflective piece submitted by a participant. This mind map explores why communication is important in medicine.

Course content

  • 1

    Introduction to Course

    • Pre-course Survey

    • Introduction to BSMS VWE

    • Interview with Malcolm Reed

    • Glossary of Terms

    • Glossary Quiz

  • 2

    Module 1 - The NHS and General Practice

    • Introduction and Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to the NHS

    • Quiz 1 - Introduction to the NHS

    • Presentation 2 - What does a GP do? (part 1)

    • Taking a Patient History

    • Presentation 2 - What does a GP do? (part 2)

    • Quiz 2 - What does a GP do?

    • Presentation 3 - What problems does a GP manage?

    • Quiz 3 - What problems does a GP manage?

    • Presentation 4 - How can you train to become a GP?

    • Quiz 4 - How can you train to become a GP?

    • Presentation 5 - Who else works in a GP surgery?

    • Presentation 6 - Challenges of Working in General Practice

    • Summary & Further Information

  • 3

    Module 2 - Elderly Medicine

    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to Elderly Medicine

    • Quiz 1 - Introduction to Elderly Medicine

    • Presentation 2 - The Elderly Medicine Ward Round

    • Quiz 2 - The Elderly Medicine Ward Round

    • Presentation 3 - Other Health Problems in Elderly Patients

    • Quiz 3 - Other Health Problems in Elderly Patients

    • Summary & Further Information

  • 4

    Module 3 - Mental Health

    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to Mental Health

    • Quiz 1 - Introduction to Mental Health

    • Presentation 2 - Depression & Anxiety

    • Quiz 2 - Depression & Anxiety

    • Presentation 3 - Schizophrenia and Other Psychiatric Problems

    • Quiz 3 - Schizophrenia and Other Psychiatric Problems

    • Summary & Further Information

  • 5

    Module 4 - Surgery & Inpatient Medicine

    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to Surgery

    • Quiz 1 - Introduction to Surgery

    • Presentation 2 - A Surgical Ward Round

    • Presentation 3 - Difficult Scenarios in Surgery

    • Summary & Further Information

  • 6

    Module 5 - Emergency Medicine

    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to Emergency Medicine and ABCDE

    • Activity 1: ABO Blood Groups

    • Activity 2: The Blood Typing Game

    • Presentation 1: An Introduction to Emergency Medicine (Part 2)

    • Activity 3 - Lifesaver Interactive (Resuscitation Council)

    • Quiz 1 - Introduction to Emergency Medicine and ABCDE

    • Presentation 2 - On the Emergency Floor

    • Summary and Further Information

  • 7

    Module 6 - Palliative Medicine & Communication Skills

    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

    • Presentation 1 - Introduction to Palliative Medicine & Cancer

    • Presentation 2 - Communication Skills

    • Presentation 3 - Ethics in Palliative Care

    • Quiz 1: Palliative Medicine & Communication Skils

    • Summary & Further Information

  • 8

    Reflections

    • Work Experience Reflection

    • Post-course Survey

    • Post-Course Survey Code

Reviews

5 star rating

fantastic

Shruthi Singhvi

brilliant, very interactive and interesting

brilliant, very interactive and interesting

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5 star rating

Awesome

Murtazaa Imran

This course taught me so much about the different areas of medicine.

This course taught me so much about the different areas of medicine.

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5 star rating

Very good course

Kayan Kathir

helped me learn a lot about the medical society and the definitions.

helped me learn a lot about the medical society and the definitions.

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