I started this blog when I finished high school as a means to document my application journey and a place where I could publish all my work experience reflections. Since then, my blog has grown and become a platform to assist and advise aspiring medics.
But…if you dig deep enough my old reflections from all the experiences I had during my application journey are still here. I didn’t privatise them because I know some of you find it useful to see what someone else has done and also to get an idea of what “reflect on your work experience” means.
Below, I’ve laid out everything I did, all nicely categorised and unfiltered (warning my reflection are loooong and quite waffley and possibly have a lot of typos) as these are all the reflections and notes I made as a medical school applicant…
(All of the italicised titles are clickable and will expand to show you my reflections for that particular experience)
All my volunteering I did weekly so I didn’t reflect on them every week. I tended to write up a reflection when I saw something interesting or something that made me think.
I did this for 3 hrs a week and had done 1.5 yrs before I submitted my application.
Reading Mentor for Adults With Learning Disabilities
I didn’t write up any reflections for this, but it was an amazing experience. I spent half an hour a week doing this and I did it for approximately 8 month before I applied.
I also did this for 3 hrs a week for about 3 monthS before I moved on to a different department
I moved on here from the UCC and spent 3 hrs a week. I had done this for 7 months before submitting my application.
For my medical work experiences I reflected on each day, going into quite a lot of depth regarding everything I saw and what I thought of it. Other work experiences I just summarised in 1 reflection.
Straight after I finished my GCSE exams finished I had some time on my hands so I used that to start off my work experience and spend it in a local primary school. I was able to plan and deliver a lesson to the children and also got involved in an after school science club.
This was a 3-day placement where I was able to rotate round different specialities and sit in some teaching sessions with medical students (who happened to be Manchester medics..whoop whoop).
I went 2 different GP surgeries in 2 different areas and spent 3 days in them both. I spent time with the doctors, nurse practitioners and reception staff in both so it was a nice contrast.
I spent 2 days shadowing the doctor at the hospice that I volunteered at so I could see more of the medical side to palliative care.
Hospice Day Therapy
I thought I wrote a reflection for this, but I can’t seem to find it. I essentially spent a day shadowing staff at in the day therapy department at the hospice I used to volunteer at and I got involved in the activities that were being run for patients there.
I spent 6 weeks in a lab for a microbiology company over the summer. It was doing bits of shadowing and also little tasks like labelling hundreds of test tubes or screwing the caps on hundreds of bottles. I spent a couple of days a week there.
One of the personal factors that inspired me to pursue a career in Medicine was the birth of my brother who has Down’s syndrome. I quite often accompanied him to appointments and I if anything triggered any thoughts I liked to reflect on those or other encounters with healthcare from the patient’s perspective. Click here to see those.
I used to keep an eye on BBC Health and Guardian Healthcare and every so often I’d write up a reflection to gather my thoughts on the topic. I also used to be part of my college’s debating society so when I was preparing my arguments I’d write it all up and publish it as a blog post. Some of these reflections are also my BMAT essays which I published are practising. Click here to see all those.