15 September, 2022

Jessica's ambition to be a doctor

Jessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experience-Jessica_Work Experience Article-8 copy

As somebody who is planning on entering the medical field and studying medicine once graduate, our IB student Jessica has done a lot of research into how she can do as much as she can, outside of academics, to prepare herself for the extremely demanding field. 

 Jessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experience


Gaining work experience from early on


I wanted to plan ahead for university to reduce stress and to allow me to focus on my studies as much as possible. Once I knew that having lots of work experience and having had learnt a lot about the field you want to go into meant you would not only stand a higher chance of getting into your university of choice, but that it meant I could be more prepared and thus successful, I set aside my summer holiday to get as far as possible. This didn’t mean I had to sacrifice my whole summer for work –it meant I could spend it doing something I enjoy and find interesting which would also help me immensely for my future.


One of the things I did this summer was participate in the United Family Hospital (UFH) Shadowing Program. I was given a flyer by my doctor at UFH after I expressed my interest in the medical field. Students had to write an application with several essay-style questions, and then, if lucky enough to be chosen, they were selected for an interview in front of a panel full of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Although this all sounded overwhelming to me at the time, I took it as a learning opportunity as it was my first time going for an interview related to medicine and saw it as practice as university application processes are much more vigorous. I saw what I knew how to do well and what I needed to work on which was a very practical experience itself.


 Jessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experience


UFH Shadow program


Throughout the two-week program, myself, along with 3 other students, got to shadow and watch doctors in every department from dental and TCM to pediatrics and radiology. We got to see the inpatient wards and were able to talk to and evaluate patients. We were lucky enough to see the ins-and-outs of the whole hospital. We learnt very subject-specific knowledge about medicine in each department from all the doctors we got to be around who showed us what they do. For example, we did a suture workshop with an orthopedic doctor where we practiced sewing together a pig’s foot whilst we discussed his career. We also learnt about UFH as a whole and saw many different aspects of patient care we never even anticipated we’d see –such as nurse training courses and even the water and electrical systems that all went in to the service.


We got a very holistic view of everything involved in patient care. We saw what it was like working day-to-day as a doctor in every department and learnt about what we can expect in life as a doctor or even a medical student. During lunch times, we were also able to meet with many other healthcare professionals to ask any questions we had –my personal favorite was chatting with one of the psychoanalysts and one of the midwives as they had many interesting experiences and shared some cool stories while giving us lots of advice about entering the field.


Jessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experienceJessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experience


Since this program, I have joined the volunteer program at UFH, as well as one at JiaHui Hospital, where I can continue to learn about all aspects of medicine and follow my interest and passion in the field. I have also completed a virtual work experience course which I can do at home, as it was hard to gain work experience due to COVID, however, I wouldn’t let it stop me.



 Jessica's ambition to be a doctor-Getting work experience

My Advice


My advice would be to get started as soon as possible (preferably in Year 12) with university research and experience in industries you find interesting. It will guide you into deciding what you want to do if you don’t know, and help you get a sprepared as possible to go into university and work.I recommend you start planning your summer of Year 12 to get in as much as possible, I promise you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, or more:)