Clinical research or clinical experience (EMT) during gap?

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Full Member
Apr 26, 2023
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I'm starting to think about what I should do for my gap year, and I'm split between doing clinical research or gaining more hands-on clinical experience.
Below is some more information about myself if that helps.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
  • cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS or AACOMAS
    • cGPA, sGPA are both 3.91
  • MCAT score(s) and breakdown
    • 521 (132,129,130,130)
  • State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US)
    • NJ
  • Ethnicity and/or race
    • East Asian / ORM
  • Undergraduate institution or category
    • HYP
  • Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer)
    • Volunteering at university hospital as patient aid at internal medicine and hem/onc (~200 hrs)
    • Volunteering at student-run local free clinic and serving as board (~250 hrs)
  • Research experience and productivity
    • Research at my university lab (2000+hrs) with a pending publication.
  • Shadowing experience and specialties represented
    • Shadowing doctors in the medical field I'm interested in—vascular surgery, CT surgery (~100 hrs)
  • Non-clinical volunteering
    • Volunteering at local soup kitchen/shelter (~150 hrs, probably can get it to 200+ by end of May when I submit primaries)
  • Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc)
    • Paid TA for a few classes (~200 hrs)
    • Counselor for summer research program for high school students (2 summers, I guess ~700 hrs)

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More hands-on experience is helpful. So would getting more hours with your soup kitchen (given your stats and likely desire to go for brand schools). I don't know what your mission fit is going to be though, so maybe you need to determine what schools you are going for and what is most important for you.
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