The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the world in many ways. There has been an increasing interest in pursuing a career related to medicine. While many direct-entry medicine programs ask applicants about real-life care-setting experiences, our students have found it very difficult to gain experience during this time. The popular VolunTEEN program with local hospitals has been put on pause, and volunteering opportunities at seniors’ houses are inaccessible.
The Meadowridge Post-Secondary department wants to try its best to provide enrichment opportunities for our high school students. To achieve this, we have compiled the following resources for future doctors and other health care professionals, to continue pursuing this interest and preparing during the pandemic.
1. BC Children's Hospital Mini Med School
Pre-pandemic, this program was a closed program, which entailed a competitive application process. Needing to build a more flexible program to accommodate social distancing, Mini Med School has gone virtual. This means that space is no longer limited, and any interested students in Grades 10-12 may participate. By downloading and signing an online participation form, they can choose a video series to watch. Once the form has been reviewed by the Mini Med School Team, the student will be issued a Certificate of Participation. This is a great enrichment opportunity for students who are interested in learning more about the field of medicine while also continuing to enhance their university application profiles.
2. Brighton & Sussex Medical School (BSMS) Virtual Work Experience
This course is tailored for the students who plan to apply to direct-entry medicine program in the UK, but also it is also beneficial if planning to study medicine elsewhere. Students will learn about the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and then explore the roles and skillsets of six different medical specialists. It will present students with the challenges and wider issues that doctors face. The reflective piece of work required for completion is also a helpful step to prepare application supplements. This course will award participants a certificate of completion at the end.
3. Patient Journey to GP Practice: Virtual Reality App
Developed jointly by the General Medical Council (GMC) and National Health Service (NHS) England, Patient Journey to GP Practice is an interactive 360° video VR app, offering an immersive insight into how a GP practice in the UK operates from a patient’s perspective. It is accessible on mobile, tablet, or PC.
4. Independent Reading & Research
A career in medicine demands life-long learning. Start now to become more knowledgeable about the field you are interested in. Here is a recommended reading list, podcast, and some medicine-related books and television shows.
- Aspiring Medics' Reading List →
- Aspiring Medics' Podcast →
- 24hrs in A&E →
- One Born Every Minute →
- Diary of a Junior Doctor →
5. Keep a Reflective Diary
One of the IB Learner Profile attributes is to be reflective. Reflection can help students think deeper, consider multiple perspectives, self-question, analyze, and then draw conclusions from their experiences. When applying to medical school, what is most important is not how much work experience you complete but how you reflect upon any relevant experience you have obtained. Royal College of General Practitioner and Medical Schools Council jointly developed a template for pre-experience, experience, and post-experience reflection.
- Medical Schools Council’s Guidance →
- Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)’s Resources Webpage →
- Medic Portal →
Free courses of medical-related topics available at:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Wenqing Chen is in her eighth year working at Meadowridge School. She works with Post-Secondary Counselling Department as well as the Advancement Department in Meadowridge School. With an educational background in China, Europe, and Canada, she offers international perspectives when supporting students and families. She holds professional memberships with the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), International Association of College Admissions Counseling (IACAC), Canadian Independent School Counsellors (CISC), and British Columbia’s Academic Advisors Consortium (AAC).