Encouraging tomorrow's medics, today

Supporting local students through the application process for medical school is a priority for the Undergraduate Department at Ysbyty Gwynedd, and we hope we can encourage students to return to the area as Welsh speaking doctors once they are qualified.  From last year’s cohort of work experience students, 68 per cent of those who went on to apply for medicine were offered a place starting this September. The UK national average is just 33 per cent.

School Roadshows & Work Experience

Few schools are fully aware of the entry requirements for medicine and often encourage students to apply for work experience even though they do not have the grades required at GCSE level.

We know it’s difficult for students to know the best route into work experience and following a career in medicine, and we’re working hard to try and support the brightest young minds in North Wales. Our School Roadshow series, which began in 2011, aims  to improve the standard of applications received for the year 12 work experience programme.  We target students aged 14 to 16 in order to reach them before they take their GCSE exams and focus on providing information about both the academic and non-academic requirements for medicine.  These sessions cover a wide socio-economic area in North Wales, broadening access to medicine as a career.

Clinical work experience is open to any student in Year 12 who has achieved the required grades at GCSE level, and are successful at interview.  Each student attends Ysbyty Gwynedd for five days, where they are able to shadow doctors in a range of clinical settings, and conclude their week with a presentation to the team including medical students and Consultants.

Teddy Bear Hospital

Ysbyty Gwynedd provides a base for the North Wales Branch of the Teddybear Hospital. This allows medical students on placement to continue to reduce the fears many children have about doctors, needles and hospitals. 

Our staff  are able to offer young patients a small teddy bear to help alleviate their potential distress and teddy receives the same treatments as the child. The teddies then go home with the patients, who are encouraged to bring them with them to any subsequent outpatient visits.

The Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme is funded by money donated by the Freemasons of North Wales at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor by the Provincial Grand Master, Ieuan Redvers Jones. The  initiative was extended to Glan Clwyd hospital when the first batch of colourful teddies was delivered.

Carole our Clinical Nurse Manager at Glan Clwyd hospital said: “The bears will make it easier for the department to treat young children without causing them too much distress. The fact they get to keep the bear also serves as a small reward.”

Study days

Study days bring together students from across the region to participate in hands-on skills sessions as well as giving them an opportunity to speak to doctors from a range of specialties. 

Work experience schools


What are the benefits of work experience?

Benefits to students

  1. Careers education and guidance: raising pupils’ awareness of the factors which may determine career choice and the requirements of particular employment sectors.
  2. Attainment in individual subjects: enhancing pupils’ understanding of the skills developed within the curriculum.
  3. Support for vocational qualifications: improving pupils’ understanding of the vocational areas they are studying and acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills.
  4. Learning about the world of work: preparation for the transition from education to work and a recognition of the kinds of 'employability' skills and attitudes required by employers; such as problem solving, flexibility and the ability to work with others.
  5. General personal and social development: enhancing their self-confidence, maturity and their interpersonal skills.
  6. Breadth of curriculum experience: support for pupils’ learning in a range of areas which will prepare them for adult life, such as understanding of social, economic and industrial issues.
  7. Health and safety: helping raise pupils’ awareness of the importance of following health and safety requirements in the workplace.
  8. Key Skills: offering opportunities to collect evidence which can go towards key skills portfolios.
  9. Career Planning: contributing to the development of a young person’s career plan.
  10. Motivation and achievement: helping raise pupils’ motivation and self-esteem through experiential learning.

Benefits to BCUHB as employers

Work Experience placements provide many opportunities and benefits to the health board as employers.  The most commonly cited are:

  1. Influence the quality of future employees: We as employers can help improve the quality and preparedness of young people coming onto the labour market.
  2. Development of recruitment channels: Building links with local schools can help attract school leavers into jobs and can reduce recruitment costs.
  3. Influencing career choices: In BCUHB, we have found that work experience placements are the ideal way of raising the profile of career opportunities within our organisation.
  4. Raising the community profile: As an organisation, we attach the importance in raising our profile in the community. Work experience placements provide a valuable means of creating a positive image amongst young people, teachers, parents and employees.
  5. Innovation: Students ask questions and bring a new perspective to routine tasks. They often have fresh solutions, or time to research alternative approaches. For further information or arrange your work Experience with us : please email our team BCU.WorkExperience@wales.nhs.uk 

if you would like to gain Nursing Work Experience all applicants must be over 17 years of age or over. For specialised departments e.g. Radiology, Dietetics, Pathology....... various age and academic restrictions apply. 

"It was a work experience placement at Ysbyty Gwynedd in 2009 that confirmed my aspirations to pursue a career in medicine."     
5th Year Medical Student
"The session was really helpful and gave me a better idea of what I need to do. It has made me more determined to become a junior doctor."
Year 9 Student
Roadshow attendee
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