Start your career in high school
Your career as a doctor can begin as early as Year 10 in high school. This is the time you will have the opportunity to complete a set amount of time in ‘work experience’, or practicing in a role that you might be interested in pursuing as a career.
Medical work experience is beneficial in many ways, helping you to:
- Meet and greet with people already working in your field of interest.
- Add to and improve your resume and employment history.
- Gather contacts and potential references for future, paid employment and/or study.
- Grow your understanding and experience of your field of interest.
How do I apply for work experience?
Work experience placements are many and varied, especially in the field of medicine. There are a number of avenues you can take to apply for a meaningful placement in the field of general practice.
Applying for work experience is much the same as applying for a job. You will need a resume, references and a clear idea of why you want to complete this activity. If an interview is also required, you will need to be able to articulate this to your interviewer. Here are some tips to help you better prepare for your application.
- Research the position. Make sure that you have a full understanding of the role, the scope and what your responsibilities will be. Most of the time, you can find this information in the job description, but you can also make use of the career guidance counselor at your high school for assistance with this.
- Create a compelling resume and cover letter. Tailor your medical work experience to the role. If you have no experience in this industry (as will be likely), use the cover letter to explain why you want to learn more about it.
- Have a clear goal. If you know why you want to work in general practice, you will be able to explain this to anyone who asks. This not only comes in handy with your application, but also during your interactions with your colleagues, should you get the role.
- Enjoy yourself. Your work experience is meant to demonstrate what working in general practice will be like. If you are willing and able to follow instructions, ask questions and fully engage with the process, you will have fun and learn at the same time.
Where can I experience working in general practice?
General practice can be experienced through a couple of avenues. You can apply at your local practice or at a major hospital.
If approaching your local GP, bear in mind your reasoning, your understanding of what it is you want to achieve and why you want to do it. Treat it like you are genuinely applying for a job and if possible, they will accommodate you.
Alternatively, you can apply at a hospital. Almost every major hospital has a work experience program that can be applied for. Understandably, not everyone can be admitted, so it is a competitive market, but this should not dissuade you from being in the race.
Most hospitals will offer work experience in some general fields including but not limited to:
- Physical therapy
Make sure you are clear on what you want to learn more about and why this will suit you and make your application sing to be successful in securing a placement and in performing during your work experience. Find out about work experience in the medical industry and more at the Work Experience Directory website.