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Work Experience for Medicine

NHSGGC Get Ready for Medicine Programme

What is the “Get Ready for Medicine” Programme?

The Get Ready for Medicine programme, developed in collaboration with the University of Glasgow Medical School, is a two-day programme that supports senior phase school pupils and adults applying for post-graduate or access programme entry schemes (eg SCOTGEMSWAP) to apply to medical school. The intention is to deliver a meaningful programme of activity that will give participants more to speak about within their medical school application and at interview.

The programme is delivered by NHSGGC Consultants, Junior Doctors and University of Glasgow Medical Students in an NHSGGC Hospital. 

Activities include:

Discussion workshops hosted by doctors, medical students and medical school staff:

  • On the application process for medicine
  • Life at medical school
  • Life as a doctor 
  • Career pathways within medicine. 

Hands on clinical skills workshops that include:

  • Giving experience of blood taking
  • Suturing (stitching)
  • Patient observations
  • Basic life support. 

Can’t I just do a week’s work experience instead?

Medical work experience used to simply refer to “shadowing” doctors in the workplace – either in hospital or in a GP practice.  It has now been recognised that far more important than “what you have done” is “what you have learned from it”. 

Within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde all medical work experience now takes place as part of an organised programme. 

When can I apply for the Get Ready for Medicine Programme?

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the programme delivery on hospital site is currently halted, but we will aim to continue to deliver this programme using “virtual” resources until government restrictions allow the programme to restart in a hospital setting.

Click the links below to view content that may help you gain insight into working as a Doctor.

You can apply to join our mailing list for notification of when the programme will reopen for applications.

Other Programmes

Reach Programme

Reach is a national project funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) which aims to support eligible S4-S6 pupils in local state secondary schools. who are considering pursuing degrees or careers in law, medicine or veterinary medicine. 

Pupils’ participation in the programme takes place over the three years of their senior phase (S4 to S6), and covers everything from introducing pupils to medicine in S4 to supporting their applications to University to study medicine in S6.

Scotland has five medical schools: Glasgow, EdinburghSt Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen and all five take part in Reach,  specifically focused on widening access to medical degrees to students from Scotland’s poorest neighbourhoods. 

The Reach programme will offer you encouragement, and impartial advice on medicine as a career, as well as give you guidance on school subject choices.

They will also help you with all aspects of the UCAS application process.

Medic Insight

Medic Insight is a programme that offers week-long or day events to fourth and fifth-year school students in Scotland who are interested in becoming doctors. The programme allows the opportunity for these students to sit in on consultations, go to theatre and provide access to a wide range of specialities and levels of clinicians in a hospital setting.

There are programmes in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. If you would like more information or wish to apply, please visit the Medic Insight Facebook pages:

Work experience requirements when applying to study medicine

When applying to medical school the important thing is not so much what you have done for work experience but what you have learned from it and how that has given you a better understanding into the career. 

That means that someone who has never been into a hospital but has read lots, spoken to healthcare staff and maybe done some volunteering or worked a part-time job dealing with the public, and who can talk about these things widely, may perform much better at application and interview than someone who has spent many days shadowing doctors but who cannot describe what this taught them about being a doctor, working in the NHS and looking after patients.

Read what the Medical Schools Council advise on the type of work experience needed to support your application to study Medicine. You should also visit the entry requirement pages of the university you wish to apply to for detailed information about the application process.

The Medical Schools Council has released guidance [PDF 421KB] to support applicants who are seeking relevant work experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has launched a free online platform, Observe GP, designed to support aspiring medics in making informed career choices and in preparing their application for medical school.

The General Medical Council (GMC) also offer a number of online resources which will help you gain insight into role of a Doctor including a virtual reality Patient Journey in a GP Practice

You will find more guidance on applying to medical school here.

Can I get work experience in a Hospital?

Rather than ad hoc work shadowing or work experience for medicine, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde delivers their Get Ready for Medicine Programme in collaboration with the University of Glasgow School of Medicine. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the programme delivery is currently halted, but you can apply to join our mailing list for notification of when programmes will reopen for applications