Personal And Professional Development
Medical School can often be seen as a very
busy time. However, it is very important to balance studying with
your own personal and professional development. The skills and
knowledge acquired from these activities is what sets you apart
from other medical students and gives you your uniqueness, when it
comes to applying for training and jobs later on.
The list below gives you some ideas (but is
not meant to be exhaustive) as to how you can develop these
personal and professional development skills:
After you graduate you will be expected to carry out clinical
audits from time to time, so it will be really useful for you to
carry out an audit during your time at medical school. The audits
will be led by a professional, but at undergraduate level you would
be collecting and interpreting data.
Read our section on audits.
You can become a rep on various committees within your medical
school or outside of it. For example, there is a
BMA Students Committee.
Being part of a committee is something that
will really enhance your CV or application form.
opportunity where you can learn some excellent transferable
Examples of clubs,societies and focus
- Medsin which has local branches
all over the UK. Sexpression is part of
- EMSO- the European Medical Students Orchestra and the UK
Medical Students Orchestra
- Marrow - (the student branch of the Anthony Nolan Trust)
you can either be part of the committee or train to be a
counsellor, which involves discussing a persons medical history
with them and explaining what bone marrow donation involves.
- University-led widening access to medical school schemes e.g.
Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
- NHS Medical Careers is looking for new focus group members. We
have written this article to give you
more information about what this entails.
The opportunity for work shadowing at a hospital or with a GP is
often hard to obtain, outside the experience you gain anyway in a
clinical attachment. Hospitals are limited in the number of
students they can take on and GPs are often unwilling to take on
students as there are confidentially issues. However there are many
other types of relevant summer jobs and part-time work that you can
find. See our guide to Summer jobs and
Volunteering is a great opportunity to enhance
your experience at medical school.
As well as being fun, it can help you to
develop essential skills that will be looked for on the foundation
programme and during the specialty training interview, such as
organisation, communication and teamwork skills
This is a UK-based volunteering database
which allows you to find suitable opportunities by entering your
postcode, client type, time you have available and which days you
want to volunteer.
They also have a search facility for
volunteering in the health sector.
This website has a searchable database of
volunteering opportunities and is suitable for all ages.
Other volunteering organisations by country:
N.B. Your University’s careers service will also have
information on local volunteering opportunities.
As Medical School can be quite a pressurized, competitive
environment, it is advisable that you do not look on the above list
and feel that you have to do everything! If you choose to do just a
few of the above, particularly if you concentrate on the areas that
largely interest you, then you are likely to feel a greater sense
Next: Read our case-studies for examples
of how to make the most out of your medical school years:
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