How to boost your career prospects at medical school | Top Universities

How to boost your career prospects at medical school

By Baurzhan I

Updated April 11, 2023 Updated April 11, 2023

As a medical student, there are lots of opportunities to build networks, get experience and gain a broader view of the medical field as a whole – helping you to boost your career before you even graduate.  

As a sixth-year medical student, here are my top tips for improving your career prospects while you study. 

Apply for work experience 

When I have time outside of my studies, I look for additional internship opportunities that give me different experiences to my degree placements. I recently worked at a medical technology startup where I learned about new methods for accurately and quickly diagnosing a stroke. 

I also work night shifts in the emergency department where I help patients with a variety of injuries and illnesses, acting quickly and smoothly to get people the help they need. I do all of this in order to gain more diverse medical experience. Being able to show future employers that I have experience across a range of medical settings and roles will make me stand out against the competition and help me to advance in my career.  

Build relationships with healthcare professionals 

When I’m on work placements in clinics and hospitals, I engage professionally with a range of medical staff. Making an effort to learn from as many professionals as possible while I’m training is a great way for me to boost my knowledge and experience.  

Building relationships with healthcare professionals and making my skills visible to senior staff means I am already developing my networks before I graduate. When I apply for graduate roles, I will come with good recommendations and could even get hired by the staff I worked with on placement.  

I try to give my best, communicate with patients in a friendly and understanding way, answer doctors' questions and help them with everything I can. 

Find a mentor doctor 

Finding a mentor doctor who has the time to provide me with industry insights and can guide me through the challenges I may face as a trainee doctor has been one of the best things I’ve done.  

I recently decided I’d like to explore a career as a rehabilitation specialist and found a local specialist who offered to mentor me in this area. I visit my mentor in her rehabilitation centre to see how she works with patients. When it’s quiet, we analyse special cases together and I can ask questions.  

I’ve been encouraged to engage in mentorship throughout my career to help me progress. Having a mentor while I study will give me a clearer direction and will show future employers that I’m serious about my development.  

Attend scientific events  

Scientific events like conferences and networking provide the opportunity to meet scientists, researchers and students and learn about different medical topics.  

At my university, the science department informs its students about all conferences and networking opportunities. Attending these events gives me a broader view of the medical world and the trends and challenges that come up in different areas of the field. Having an awareness of these things will make me a more competent medical professional, and I’ll have lots to talk about in my graduate interviews.  

Join communities and professional groups 

For the past six years, I’ve been a member of various student clubs and professional communities, where I’m able to acquire extra knowledge and skills that I can apply in my work as a doctor.  

I’m a member of the Kazakhstan Medical Students Association (KazMSA), which has representative offices in every medical university in Kazakhstan. As part of this network, I study medical topics, participate in group projects and get to know other healthcare students and professionals.  

By building an extensive network of healthcare students and professionals by the time I graduate, I’ll have plenty of people to reach out to throughout my career. Some will become leaders in their field and can help me climb my own career ladder too.  

Create your personal brand 

Building an image of yourself as a professional while you study is a great way to stand out to future employers. 

Creating a personal brand could involve setting up professional social media accounts to post your achievements, activities and thoughts around your studies. It could be creating videos with tips for other students. It could be speaking at student events and presenting your ideas to others, or talking about your student journey to new students, what you learned and how you coped with the challenges of being a medical student.  


With these tips, you should have plenty of opportunities to meet healthcare professionals, learn about the fields that interest you and gain as much experience as possible. Remember not to overwork yourself and take enough breaks for rest and recuperation. You don’t have to do it all at once. Good luck! 

This article was originally published in March 2023 . It was last updated in April 2023

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