Rural Applicants

Rural Applicants

Occasionally, applicants have difficulty in undertaking the relevant research and work experience due to lack of opportunity to contact doctors and other healthcare professionals. If this applies to you, then the following suggestions may be considered:

Commitment to Medicine

You should describe the difficulties you have had in obtaining relevant work experience, but you should state in your Personal Statement the different ways that you have attempted to research your future career.


  • Contact medical school admissions departments asking for literature relating to application and the Medical School's curriculum (good way of understanding how medicine is generally taught to undergraduates)
  • Check the websites of UK universities which have a medical school
  • Attempt to arrange private visits to medical schools and speak with doctors/students, or get information about Open Days
  • Be well informed about career opportunities after qualification (including length of time for training for various medical careers), by visiting the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) website for information.
  • Show you are knowledgeable about wider aspects of a university, by accessing the web page relating to "News" and "Research"
  • For information about the latest medical advances or possible voluntary work/fund raising, search the internet.

Highland Students

Take advantage of the excellent support offered by the Highland Schools Medical Mentor Scheme:

  • Be put in touch with a GP Mentor, for career discussions and medicine applications.
  • Attend the mini Open Day at Raigmore Hospital, usually in February/March for students considering a career in Medicine.
  • Advice about work experience.

For further details email

For information about gaining hospital work experience at the end of S5 your Careers Adviser will be informed about: 

  • NHS Grampian "Doctors at Work Scheme" in Aberdeen and Elgin
  • NHS Highland "Doctors at Work Scheme" in Inverness

Attempt to make contact with medical students who may be working in a hospital quite distant from their medical school (eg students from Aberdeen travel to Fort William, Stornoway, Inverness and Elgin). To arrange a meeting, a telephone chat or an e-mail conversation with a student, contact Administrative Assistant, Undergraduate Teaching Centre, Raigmore Hospital. Tel: +44 (0)1463 705898.

Core Qualities of Doctors

Personal experience of contact with the public can be obtained in various ways:

  • Voluntary work in nursing homes or groups for the disabled
  • Libraries or church groups may have lists of elderly or needy individuals requiring help with shopping, gardening, dog-walking, etc. or indeed regular chats to counteract loneliness and isolation
  • Helping in school or youth clubs
  • Caring for a sick relative or friend
  • Acquiring a first-aid qualification
  • Charity fundraising
  • Part-time employment

Teamwork Section

Again, opportunities may be limited, but you can demonstrate teamwork skills by:

  • Undertaking Duke of Edinburgh schemes
  • Involvement in youth groups
  • Part-time employment
  • Being part of a sports team, musical band or performing in other ways
  • Involvement in rural issues/meetings/social life
  • It is important to mention all your other interests, which may include meeting friends socially, cinema, friendly football games etc.