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victoria-louise Offline
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Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 07:59 PM

I really want to study medicine after school but what volunteering can i do to help me get a place at Uni? thanks
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 08:20 PM

I'm thinking that the best place to volenteer would be at a pharmacy with the pharmacist or pharmacist aid.

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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 08:51 PM

Most University's look highly upon ANY volunteering... however depending on what type of degree you are planning on getting, you should look at focusing towards people-related volunteering.

For instance if you want to become a doctor or a nurse you should look at volunteering that gets you working with people of all ages (or each age group at a time).

But like I said... any volunteering will be looked at as being good for getting you into post-secondary.
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 09:00 PM

You could volunteer at a hospital or a care home. Although like Andrea said, any volunteering will look good on a Uni App.
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 09:42 PM

Hi. I'm applying to medicine this year for 2010 entry so there really is very little I don't know about applying to study medicine.

Basically yes, you do need to have some kind of volunteering in a healthcare setting. You also should get at least 2 weeks work experience, hopefully shadowing a doctor or similar - I got about 6 weeks worth, but some have more, some have less.

I'm just going to go ahead and copy a leaflet I wrote for my college into this thread, it has some suggestions on it. Any questions just ask.

So you want to be a doctor?
Getting into medical school is not an easy feat, and every year thousands of applicants with straight A grades receive no offers. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to be successful, so before you start putting together your application, ask yourself whether this is what you really want.

This leaflet should inform you of all the things you could, and should, be doing to bring your application up to the standards required to get yourself to the interview stage.

Subjects and grades
There are high academic requirements for GCSEs and A Level results. If you don’t have the grades, you won’t get in.

GCSEs: Universities vary on GCSE requirements, ranging from two B’s to 8 A*s. Most applicants have A and A* grades at GCSE – the more A*s the better! If you don’t, be careful about where you apply and research your choices. It is very important that you check and double check the GCSE requirements of the Universities you hope to apply to before you do so.

A Level: AAB at A level is the lowest grade requirement, though the most applicants have AAA predictions. You need four AS levels, and you will struggle without having Chemistry and Biology to A2. An A in these subjects is normally needed. For the other two subjects, Universities range on whether they prefer all sciences or a mixture of arts and sciences. My personal suggestion would always to be to take Chemistry, Biology and Physics/Maths and then a contrasting arts subject such as History or English Literature. It is up to you whether you continue all four to A2 – this is not necessary but may give you an advantage if you are confident of achieving high grades.

Work experience
Following getting the required grades, work experience is the second most important aspect of your application. With no work experience, you won’t get an offer. Great work experience can make up for poor GCSE grades or a low score on the entrance exam.

What kind of work experience are they looking for?
Getting work experience in a GP surgery or hospital is great, but hard to get and Universities understand this.
Regular volunteering will significantly strengthen your application, especially as if you start now, you will have been volunteering for over a year when it comes to applying.

Work experience that you can find easily
• Volunteering at a care home
• Volunteering in a charity shop
• Volunteering at the League of Friends in your local hospital
• Volunteering at your local hospital
• Visit CVS centre in your town for help finding a voluntary position and full list of what is available.
• Volunteering on a Vitalise holiday.

Work experience in a more clinical setting
It is harder to get this, but not impossible. Write a formal letter and send it out to as many people as possible.
This means work experience shadowing doctors. Have a look on the websites of your local hospital or call them up to enquire about work experience schemes they run.
*I've removed addresses of some places that Ithought students at my college might be successful at*

Extra-Curriculum activities
In other words, what do you do outside of college? Do you play an instrument or a sport, do you speak another language, do you dance or go scuba diving? What are your hobbies?
If you don’t really have any hobbies, don’t worry, you’ve plenty of time to acquire some. I would say as long as you have two extra-curriculum activities, this is sufficient.

Entrance Exams
Most Medical Schools require that you sit an entrance exam; the only exceptions are Bristol, Liverpool and Southampton – which as a consequence have many more applicants per place. There are two different entrance exams, the UKCAT and the BMAT.
Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London ask for the BMAT
You take the BMAT on the 4th November after you have submitted your UCAS application. The cost of the BMAT varies depending on where you sit the exam, but is normally around 30. You get your results on 1st December.
You can register to take the BMAT and find out more information at www.bmat.org.uk
All other Universities ask for the UKCAT
You take the UKCAT the summer before you apply. EG, if you are applying for entry in 2011, you will take the UKCAT in summer 2010. The UKCAT exam costs 60 before 1st September or 75 afterwards. The last date to register for the UKCAT is 9th October. You take the UKCAT exam on a computer at a test centre.
The UKCAT gives you a score between 300 and 900, with the average score being 600 and most applicants scoring between 500 and 700. Different Universities use the UKCAT in different ways, with some having high cut off scores, but it is generally agreed that you should aim for a minimum of 600. You get your results on the day.
There are a lot of practice books and courses aimed to help you do well in the UKCAT, I would recommend “Get into Medical School - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions”
You register to do the UKCAT at www.ukcat.ac.uk – you can also find a lot more information here.

Other things you should know:
• Look into attending the Medlink conference – it’s a great experience and is very motivational.
• For Medical school an application, your personal statement is often the thing that decides who does and does not get an interview. All the things I have suggested here will give you a stronger personal statement, but always be on the look out for things you can do that you could add to your personal statement. Are there any science trips going on?


This site often gives excellent support, advice and information on everything you could possibly need to know about applying to study Medicine.

For more information on the UKCAT

For more information on the BMAT
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 09:47 PM

Any volunteering looks good, any experience in a hospital looks even better.
Also a variety of volunteer work looks good.

I have volunteered in a hospital and a charity shop. I am now looking in to volunteering in a care home and doing some fund raising.

This website is great for finding volunteer work and once you have found what you want to do you apply through there and they help set everything up.
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 09:49 PM

Thanks!! i think i'm going to do some work at a charity near me where you work with disabled children. Good luck with your application Rachel! x
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 10:09 PM

maybe someplace like a hospital of a nursing center so u undersatnd waht medicine does and the side effects
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Re: Medicine volunteering - January 14th 2010, 11:06 PM

Thats a great volunteer placement to do

And thanks... 2 interviews so far which is great, but not heard from the other two yet. Made the fatal mistake of applying to one of the most competitive, over 19 applicants per place
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