Clinical job (24 hours/week) or semi-unique, non-clinical job + clinical volunteering (4-8 hours/week)?

Which position?

  • Teaching + hospital volunteering

    Votes: 10 90.9%
  • Clinical job

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .
Aug 15, 2020
7
6
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
I have a couple of opportunities that are opening up to me, and I'm looking for some advice about which one to take. I have four semesters left before I graduate (not including this one), and I'm planning on doing whatever I decide on for the remainder of that time. I do plan on taking 1.5 gap years as well.

Right now, I work at a high school teaching music for their band, which I really enjoy, but is not related to medicine in any way. It takes between 10 and 20 hours a week of my time depending on the season. It's good leadership experience, and it's definitely helped me develop some soft skills. It's also fairly unique, and I believe that could be a good thing. I've been in the process of onboarding for a hospital volunteering position which would involve one or two 4-hour shifts each week. If I took this plan, I'd sit at ~900 hours teaching (in addition to the ~400 I've already done), and around 240 hours of hospital volunteering when I graduate.

I've also recently heard back about a position as a Patient Care Tech at a hospital in the area, which would be two 12-hour shifts each week. In order to make this work, I'd have to quit the teaching job and drop the volunteering position. However, I feel like this clinical experience is miles better than hospital volunteering, as it's direct patient care. If I take this, I'm not too worried about overextending myself, because I designed my schedule such that I'm not taking more than 15 credit hours any semester. If I took this job, I'd accumulate ~1,400 hours of clinical work, not including summers and gap year.

What do you guys think? Is the teaching position unique enough to hold onto and say no to the killer clinical experience? Is that many hours of direct patient care going to give me a competitive advantage, or is it overkill? Should I put off getting a clinical job with that kind of time commitment until my gap year?
 

lull

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2018
220
213
You could always get a clinical job during your gap year. I think since you really enjoy the high school teaching experience you should continue to do that. It's always nice to have something to look forward to during the semester.
 
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Jul 23, 2019
184
495
Status
  1. Attending Physician
I have a couple of opportunities that are opening up to me, and I'm looking for some advice about which one to take. I have four semesters left before I graduate (not including this one), and I'm planning on doing whatever I decide on for the remainder of that time. I do plan on taking 1.5 gap years as well.

Right now, I work at a high school teaching music for their band, which I really enjoy, but is not related to medicine in any way. It takes between 10 and 20 hours a week of my time depending on the season. It's good leadership experience, and it's definitely helped me develop some soft skills. It's also fairly unique, and I believe that could be a good thing. I've been in the process of onboarding for a hospital volunteering position which would involve one or two 4-hour shifts each week. If I took this plan, I'd sit at ~900 hours teaching (in addition to the ~400 I've already done), and around 240 hours of hospital volunteering when I graduate.

I've also recently heard back about a position as a Patient Care Tech at a hospital in the area, which would be two 12-hour shifts each week. In order to make this work, I'd have to quit the teaching job and drop the volunteering position. However, I feel like this clinical experience is miles better than hospital volunteering, as it's direct patient care. If I take this, I'm not too worried about overextending myself, because I designed my schedule such that I'm not taking more than 15 credit hours any semester. If I took this job, I'd accumulate ~1,400 hours of clinical work, not including summers and gap year.

What do you guys think? Is the teaching position unique enough to hold onto and say no to the killer clinical experience? Is that many hours of direct patient care going to give me a competitive advantage, or is it overkill? Should I put off getting a clinical job with that kind of time commitment until my gap year?

1,400 hours of clinical work is very much overkill. The benefit of additional clinical hours diminishes as you gain more hours. However, the benefit of more unique ECs that you can talk about in-depth never diminishes. Run with the non-clinical job+volunteering and use the extra 16 hours of free-time to prepare for the MCAT!

You can do some direct-patient care during your gap year to solidify the quality of your clinical experiences.

Edit: It seems it might be too early for you to prepare for the MCAT. Use the extra time to look into other unique ECs and nonclinical volunteering! If you find other things that are music-related, you could certainly use it as a very compelling hook.
 
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May 16, 2020
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Somewhere in New England
Status
  1. Attending Physician
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Keep teaching! You are already planning on a gap year, and your volunteer work will give you plenty of clinical contact hours by the time you apply. Try to do some shadowing during the summer.
 
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Aug 15, 2020
7
6
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
I've decided to turn down the PCT job and stick with the teaching position. Thanks for the advice, everyone!
 
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