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COVID-19 Alternatives to Work Experience. Reflections by Students from Old Palace of John Whitgift

June 20, 2020
COVID-19 Alternatives to Work Experience. Reflections by Students from Old Palace of John Whitgift

Old Palace of John Whitgift students have been attending the Medic Mentor National Healthcare Weekends and the ‘Get in to Medicine’ conferences online.

With the COVID-19 situation of lockdown and restrictions, a lot of work experience has been cancelled. A number of Old Palace Year 12 students have completed open access courses and were really pleased to be signposted to the virtual work experience opportunities from Medic Mentors’ blog. 

The students have enjoyed different learning styles and introductions to diverse healthcare teams. The courses also led them to undertake further research into topics that they found particularly interesting. Thank you Medic Mentors!

 – Joanna Edwards

Student reflections for Medic Mentors

During lockdown I completed the Brighton and Sussex Medical school’s virtual work experience, where I worked through six modules covering the key components of medicine.

I particularly enjoyed the activities delivered as practice based-learning (PBL), which is how many undergraduate medical school courses are taught.

I also liked the more traditional videos, presentations and quizzes.

This experience led me to do some deeper reading about blood transfusions, diabetes and euthanasia.

I completed a reflective task at the end where I designed a poster about the vital skills of a doctor.

Overall, I found this work experience useful in giving me an insight into my future career and aspirations.


I also undertook the Brighton and Sussex Medical School course.

I learnt about the role of a GP and how they go from seeing patients, doing referrals and tests to also teaching and undertaking research. Moreover, I learnt the importance of taking a patient history in the medical field.

One aspect of taking a patient history involves asking the patient the history of their presenting complaint, and the mnemonic ‘SOCRATES’ is used to help ensure the key pieces of information are gathered.

S – stands for site, 

O – onset, 

C – character, 

R – radiation, 

A – associated symptoms, 

T – timing, 

E – exacerbating and relieving factors,

S – severity.

I thoroughly enjoyed the module on emergency medicine where I learnt about the ABCDE technique, with:

A – standing for airway, 

B – breathing, 

C – circulation, 

D – disability, 

E – exposure. 

Each part of this assessment is ranked according to how quickly a problem with that part will kill a patient, for example an obstructed airway will kill a patient more quickly than most bleeding.

Usually several doctors are involved in a diagnosis and treatment as several concerns need to be reviewed by numerous doctors to ensure that the right diagnosis has been made and the correct treatment is given.

Teamwork is therefore essential as it will prevent misdiagnosis and adverse events from occurring, which could be caused by miscommunication between doctors and nurses.

Teamwork is very important in elderly medicine as doctors work as part of a multidisciplinary team to give the best healthcare.

In emergency medicine teamwork is essential to handle stressful situations and to work well under pressure.

In the NHS today a very high number of patients are creating demand for beds that exceeds supply, and so doctors need to work efficiently to diagnose patients and help them recover.

– Khushi




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