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Medicine volunteer abroad - worth it?(5 Posts)
DD is in final year of sports and exercise science at Birmingham.
She's considering doimg graduate medicine and is now looking to do some work experience, before applying next year.
Aside from the WE she will do here in te UK, , she's interested in something like:
Are these worth doing and how do you know which organisations are better than others?
My gut feeling is that universities would not be impressed by work experience that is "bought" by those who can afford it. Especially if that is the only relevant work experience she has.
From all I read last year when my dd was applying for undergraduate medicine, they prefer to see long term volunteering in the UK and things like working at lowly levels in hospitals or care homes.
They want to recruit people happy to work in the NHS, with an aging population.
If my dd had been unable to find anything relevant here I guess we may have considered something abroad.
Does your dd have other work experience that is relevant?
Don't make the mistake of thinking it counts as "work experience". Real, unbought work experience will be vastly better looked on - especially in the current climate of climate of trying to make access to medicine fairer for all, someone who bought their work experience will be facing some pretty tricky interview questions I fear.
There's also a question mark around how ethical it is as well. Yes, the hospitals will receive a small amount of money for her being there, but she will take up peoples time and resources in a place where both is limited.
Part of the draw to these sorts of trips is that you can often get to do stuff that wouldn't be allowed for unqualified people in the NHS. While this is great fun for her, it's not really fair on the patients.
I had a friend to went on a similar trip (gapmedics) and LOVED it , and I can see why, it definitely appealed to me too! But with what I've said, I think you would have to think very carefully about putting on a personal statement.
A blind eye may have been turned in the past to naive 16/17 year olds (who also had real work experience), but your daughter should definitely be older and wiser.
I wonder if something like a Red Cross internship would carry more weight. Comes down to what she wants to do in future. No point if the goal is not work in developing countries or disaster relief.
This old but might help
For medicine <> "He's been on a gap year," “If he's been sitting on a beach for a year, I'll put him in the bin ..." "He's been volunteering with St John Ambulance. And also training to be a special constable – that's something I've never seen before. He's clearly doing something worthwhile. He's currently volunteering at a care home." The admissions tutor smiles. "That's a tick for me."