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Career options for non-science majors waiting to go to medical school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DZT, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. DZT

    DZT Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Hey y'all, I'm an English major applying to med school. I'm on the verge of graduating, and I just dont want to sit home and collect dust. I know that I could not get a job as a lab tech or research assistant coz they want science majors, and unfortunately, those are the only entry level jobs hiring on a temporary basis. What else can I do that does not involve lab work? I was thinking of subsitute teaching, but there has to be some other alternatives. Any thoughts?
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  3. kylie

    kylie Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    i was an english major. i have been teaching developmental english at a local community college. you only need a BA and a working knowledge of the subject for developmental courses.
  4. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2001
    Did you try to find a lab job? If you have the premed requirements (I'm assuming you do) and can list lab techniques, etc that you did in your courses, you might be able to put together a pretty impressive resume. I was a non-science major and have been working in a lab for almost a year now. RAI positions really don't take any magical experience that science majors have, they are fairly brainless. Might as well try!
  5. squeek

    squeek Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    You could easily get a secretarial job on a hospital inpatient floor. Most of them only requre a GED, but they're fast-paced and you learn a lot about the inner workings of a hospital. That's what I did for a year after undergrad, and it was VERY useful. It paid enough to cover the rent, and I learned tons about the hospital. It's a good place to help you decide if you want to go into medicine "for sure." Also, admissions committees saw it as significant clinical experience when I was applying.

    Most hospitals call the position "unit clerk" or "unit services coordinator" or "unit secretary"--something along those lines.

    Good luck!
  6. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    work for a non-profit organization.
  7. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Substitute teacher! In CA at least it doesn't require a teaching credential, only passing the CBEST.
  8. xanthines

    xanthines decaying organic matter Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by nb81:
    <strong>Hey y'all, I'm an English major applying to med school. I'm on the verge of graduating, and I just dont want to sit home and collect dust. I know that I could not get a job as a lab tech or research assistant coz they want science majors, and </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I majored in History AND Music. I'm a lab tech right now.

  9. HippocratesX

    HippocratesX Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I majored in the History of Science, Medicine, & Technology....also a lab tech right now. Its not that hard to be a lab tech. And i'm not talking about the type that needs certification like a phlebotemist or histology technician. If you really want a lab job, just go beyond the Human Resources (because you'll never get one that way without waiting forever) and drop off your resumes/coverletters at each and every dept within the particular school of medicine's basic sciences, or in the hospital--stating your interest in a lab tech position. That's what i did, and soon enough my e-mail were flooded with inquiring Principal Investigators.
  10. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I was an English major and faced the same dilemma that you did.

    - If you are interested in research, and have completed your premed classes, you are definitely as competitive for a lab job as the science majors. I would be vague about how much time you are taking off when you apply though -- say "some time," "at least a year," etc. The labs don't want to waste 3-4 months getting you up to speed on techniques if you are just going to leave a few months after that.

    - I second the recommendation of going around HR. HR takes way too long and is a waste of time. Research labs and PI's that sound interesting, and just email them. If you contact enough people, you would be surprised at the response that you get.

    - Secretarial/administrative work -- surprisingly can be a very good way to gain extra exposure to the hospital/academic medicine world. The suggestion of being a unit clerk was very good. I started out as a secretary for a peds division in an academic medical center, and then ended up being promoted to a clinical research coordinator several months later. It was definitely a lucky break, but even just the secretarial work was interesting (got to go on rounds, hang out around clinic, assist with some of the clinical studies, etc.). Also, at least in my case, the admin positions paid a lot better than lab work.

    - Clinical research coordinator. A lot of these ask for RN's, but if you look around enough, you might find one that only asks for a BA or BS. If you have some decent past clinical experience, you should be competitive for these types of positions. In a lot of ways, I think this is an ideal position -- a lot of writing/admin type work is required (using parts of your English degree), you get a lot of clinical exposure (you are actually working with patients and their treatment plans on a daily basis), and you may end up as a co-author on a publication, and it generally is fairly high-paying for entry-level hospital work.

    - Teaching. You could be a substitute (as you mentioned), or get a full-time position at a private school -- most private schools do not require the same training and certification that public schools do. I have a lot of friends that went this route, really enjoyed their work, and many med schools seem to really value this type of experience. I would advise trying to find a full-time position at a private school over subbing, but whatever you feel more comfortable with.

    Of course, there are a variety of other non-health related jobs out there as well. However, if you do something non-health related, I would advise you to try and spend at least a couple hours a week volunteering in a medically-related capacity. Good luck!

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