Whilst stuck inside during lockdown, I decided that aside from studying, workouts and baking cakes, now is the time to do something a little more productive whilst I have the time.
I realised the importance of gaining work experience when applying to medical schools, and the panic of not having any soon struck. I had read on various university websites that they will take into account the difficulty of gaining work experience at present, which relaxed me slightly. However! Brighton and Sussex medical school came to the rescue with their virtual work experience course.
I won’t lie, I wasn’t sure how much of an ‘experience’ I’d get from an online course, but it was a pleasant surprise and I’d definitely recommend it.
There are 6 modules on the course, each giving you an insight into different aspects of medical care such as mental health or emergency medicine. The course contains various powerpoints, interactive presentations and quizzes (there was no pressure to get all questions correct, you can still pass the course regardless, it just helps to apply knowledge). The time it takes to complete the course is completely up to you so there’s no pressure and you can take your time. At the end of the course you need to submit a small piece of work, just reflecting on what you’ve learnt. I submitted mine a few weeks ago, the course has a high demand so it’s still under review.
The first module of the course was on general practice, a specialisation I’d never previously considered. I always said I wanted a job where I could be on my feet rather than always sat at a desk, and I felt emergency medicine would be more interesting than general practice. However, the course gave me an insight into the reality of primary healthcare, and that being a GP can be intense, you will encounter a wide variety of medical problems, everyday. Now I know more about it, being a GP is a career path that I would take into consideration.
The course also taught me about palliative care and it’s importance, how to take a patient history, the impact of mental health and how difficult treating elderly patients can be. Unfortunately, the elderly often suffer from multi-morbidity and so they have various illnesses that need treating at once, which is often challenging to do. 95% of the primary care population aged 65 and over are affected by multi-morbidity – a not so fun fact for you.
Overall, my experience may not have been quite so hands-on but I learnt something from it and it furthered my insight into a medical career, which is the main thing.
Solid 10/10 would recommend.