How To Make The Most Of A Medical Internship For Mature Students

How To Make The Most Of A Medical Internship For Mature Students

Choosing to change your career later in life can present some interesting challenges. Going back to school can be tough when you’re surrounded by wide-eyed undergraduates, and completing the required internships can be difficult when you’re the same age as some of the people you are learning from. However, this is a small price to pay for finding the career you’ve always dreamed off. If you’re hoping to head back to school to study for a medical degree, gaining the right experience to demonstrate your willingness to practice medicine is essential.

You might not have been en-route to medical school since kindergarten like many of your med student counterparts, but you shouldn’t let this deter you. If you’re changing careers later in life you will have far more life experience, emotional maturity and other essential skills to back up your application. Gaining a few weeks clinical experience will help to cinch your application, just make sure you make the most of it...

Be prepared

Making sure you are dressed appropriately, know where you are going and know what to expect when you get there will help you to make the most of your medical internship. If you aren’t sure about any aspect of the placement, you should check with the organising body in advance. If your placement is through your medical school, there will probably be a student co-ordinator to help answer any questions, or you can ask students ahead of you in the programme. If you planned it privately, or through an organisation, you should check in with the person you normally coordinate with.

Ask Questions

Asking a busy surgeon if you can borrow 30 minutes of their time while you quiz them on every aspect of their career isn’t going to fly in most hospitals. So, while you should make sure you ask questions throughout your internship, you should also be respectful of people’s time. Ask questions while you are working, but avoid asking for the sake of asking. Take every advantage you can get, such as being closer in age to the people you are learning from.

Combine work experience with a holiday

If you have family commitments, finding a way to get the necessary work experience can be a struggle. Try floating the idea of combining medical work experience abroad with a family holiday so you can gain the necessary experience while your family explore the local area. 


Rebecca Harper is a freelance writer. You can follow her on twitter at @BeccHarps

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