PBMaxx

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Is there enough free time (on average) to get a part time job, or will I have to live off of loans and whatever I can sponge from my family?
 

SocialistMD

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More the latter than the former. I worked ~15-20hrs/wk during the first two years, but it is all but impossible to work during your clinical years.
 

Dr.Evil1

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You COULD work during your first two years but I wouldn't plan on it. Most medical students find jusk keeping up with classes difficult enough. If you were a great time manager and didn't attend lectures and didn't mind having no social life then you could work a couple of hours a week. Working during 3rd year is totally out, especially during call months. I personally couldn't imagine working 80+ hr weeks as a MS and then going to my night job.

You don't really need to work though. Loans can provide you with more than enough money to live comfortably. If you can squeeze some money out of the parents then you can live very well. While I do not advocate wasteful spending we are very lucky in that interest rates are at an all time low. Take advantage while you still can.
 
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TheRussian

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It depends on how much you tend to study and how flexible your job is with hours. You can definetely do it if you want. I find I have a lot of free time where I'm looking for something to do. If you are the type of person that doesn't study all the time then you can do it. Of course if you have a job that makes you work the night before your final then that's not worth it. I would probably wait until you get a bit into school to see how much time you really have and then try to find a job with flexible hours if you still feel up to it.
 

azzarah

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i do research a couple of hrs per week...i don't know if that counts as work though
 

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I work about 10 hours a week at a vet clinic during the second part of MS 1. Not sure if I will next year though, with exams every two weeks it doesn't seem to appealing.

I dont' make enough to make a dent in my loans, but it is good for spending money!
 

Bigsheed920

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To the OP........I say.......feel it out when u start med school and see if u feel u have time......everyone is different and only u know what u can handle.
 

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I work about 20 hours per week. I work with a great bunch of people, and find it refreshing to *do* something after being forced to sit there and study all day. The downside is, if you've got a work deadline and an exam deadline at the same time, it can be hard to tell your team, "hey, guys, sorry, but I've gotta go study!"

I totally wouldn't do it for the money, though -- as many have pointed out, you can get loans to cover your living expenses, and your time now is worth more than whatever you might save by working for what you're going to get as part time help.

Anka
 

threepeas

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PBMaxx said:
Is there enough free time (on average) to get a part time job, or will I have to live off of loans and whatever I can sponge from my family?
I work about 8-10 hours a week as a physician assistant. the clinical relevance makes it quite enjoyable and i love getting out of the books and do some clinical stuff. i also have a wife and 3 kids under the age of 6 so that is like having a 30 hour/week job. if the job allows you to study some while working it might be worth it. if the job is stimulating in such a way that you are more focused when you do study then that would be good to.
med school only comes once, and as much as we all want to get it over with, it is a unique and important time. whatever you decide dont let work take away from med school. only do it if it can add to your experience while in school.
 

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I had a research job that was <=10 hours per week, and it was doable first and second year. If you're thinking only of the financial aspect, I don't think it is worth it to have a random part-time job (unless it pays very well). If it is related to medicine, like research or nursing/PA/EMT if you came from those fields, it will have both financial and career benefits. If not, you'll probably just have a few thousand less in loans and possibly lower grades due to the sacrifice of your time.
 
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PBMaxx

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I will also want to stay active with my classmates, school, and EC's (i.e community service and clinic volunteering). Sound advice--thanks everyone!!
 
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whorubigman

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I want to tell you about a classmate of mine who has two part-time jobs while doing a 3rd yr med school. He has 4 kids. He just bought a house as a med student; the downpayment was from his own packets, from having worked as a paid researcher. Btw, this dude got a Ph.D. in one year and a week, granted he did research as a med student during the first 2 yrs of med school; he never showed up to class but, from what I can gather, his knowledge of medicine is solid, as I did inpt internal medicine, psych, and neurology with this amazing boy.

Now, as a third-yr med student, w/ his PH. D. as a qualification, he is a professor at an oriental medicine university, and still does research while getting paid fat dollars. He is an awesome med student on top of that. Also, an ex-kick boxer who got paid to fight. From high school, he had an option of becoming a football player at a famous university but decided not to.

How do I know so much about him? He is one of my closer classmates at my med school. All of his four kids seem very well taught and happy. I told him to write a book on his life, but I guess, first, he'll need to find time. This dude is extremely easy-going and laid-back, and he works so hard for his kids and wife. Each of his kids plays a musicla instrument, as he pays for all their private lessons. He is also good w/ people also that some of his residents gave him eval forms for HIM to fill out! He also makes music, and is almost done completing making a CD w/ his friends. No, he doesn't look like a nerd. He looks like a tank. Ex-frat boy who takes care of his family like no other man.

He is one of the most well-liked human beings I have ever come across.

So, yes, it is possible to have a job throughout medical school. For some, two part-time jobs are even possible. Did I exaggerate about anything about this dude? NOT EVEN ONE BIT.

Stop your whining, some of you--including me,-- and be smarter with your time and effort. Think hard and come up with your priorities; for this boy, his family is numero uno, then work that he enjoys, which, right now, for him, is medical school, teaching at a university, and doing research. Btw, his research is extremely well-known all across the world; in Russia, Japan, China, etc. This boy will probably be a billinaire in 10-20 yrs just from his research findings --purely my opinion-- as he got a patent on his research product.

Stop thinking, some of you, that you're a know-it-all and you have a right to talk down on your patients, nurses, etc., just because you're gonna get your M.D. M.D. doesn't mean s*** if your goal of obtaining it is to boost your low self-esteem. (Sorry, I got carried away there for a second...) Just remember this boy, and try to stay humble. And, continue to care for your patients regardless of "tiring" experience of dealing with a**h**e-M.D.s. YOU don't have to turn out like one of them, you know. Look at this boy; so humble even with all he's accomplished so far, and all he's doing daily, and all that he'll do in the future. :D
 

whorubigman

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I am an exact opposite of this amazing dude. Perhaps, I spend too much time on stupid stuff, like admiring other people? hehehe...
Just thought I'd share the story of a person who is dilligent and smart. Not I... I'm freaking lazay... That's why I'm typing this right now at 1 am when I should be either studying or sleeping... My point is, I guess, even if you are not working smart and hard as my classmate, as long as you're a solid human being who makes others' lives better, you are a good human being, whether or not you have all these things going for you... Do I sound jealous? Probably... At least my posts are a little in-te-res-ting, no? :laugh:
 

8744

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Unless you have a really lucrative skill that can be parlayed into serious money by working part-time, why bother working during medical school? In the long run, the $8.50 an hour you earned working 20 hours a week probably won't even make a tiny ding in the amount of money you will owe after four years of medical school. The part-time job might even hurt your earning potential by taking away from your study time, dragging down your grades, and decreasing your chances to match into a more lucrative specialty.

Additionally, unless it is a job you really like, you are going to seriously wear yourself out. Most people do have to study in medical school, most of the time considerably more than you might have done in college.

With all due respect to Whorubigman's friend, most people cannot realistically maintain that kind of pace. Anybody with two part-time jobs in third year, (unless the jobs are two hours per week) is probably sacrificing a lot of sleep, most of his family time, and his sanity. During my Surgery, OB-Gyn, and Medicine rotations I required to be at the hospital more early and usually left late. The actual hours are unpredictable making it even harder to schedule a part-time job.

Whorubigman's friend is the exception to the general rule.
 

8744

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I also want to point out that children don't need quality time, they need quantity time. The divorced father, for example, who gets his children one weekend a month probably tries to pack as much quality into the weekend as he can but what his children really need is a father who spends a great deal of time with them, even if it is just sitting around doing nothing in particular.

So Whorubigman's friend, if we are to believe his schedule, cannot possibly be spending the time with his children that they deserve. I know that sometimes we have to make sacrifices but spending time with one's children should be the last thing you give up. Sending them to a bunch of activities and extracurricular activities is not a subsitute for parenting.
 

whorubigman

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w/ pandabear about kids needing quantity time and agree that my classmate is an exception to the rule.

but, based on what i've seen, his kids are happy and he is spending time of quality and often quantity. yes sometimes he sleeps 3 hrs a night to make it all worth it. his quality of life is far beyond anyone can imagine; he is so happy doing what he wants to do, supporting his family w/ jobs that originally paid around 10 bucks an hour but now pay well over 50 bucks an hour. his kids are happy and he is happy, in short.

let's not so easily throw away anything that does not follow our paradigm; med student working is one of them. there are two other classmates who also are working and excelling at school, as third-years. other classmates go clubbing anytime they have a chance. some, i guess, spend hours posting messages at studentdoctor.net, in their free time. others, like me, spend time playing basketball ad naseum and read.

my point is med students are busier than "others," --with many "exceptions" to others, mind you-- but we still have enough time to partake in activities that we need to or want to do. you can juggle many more meaningful activities in your life, yes, even as a med student. :smuggrin:

if i could just stop wasting time posting messages ...
 
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Premedtomed

My advice ( iwill be starting med school in fall as well) is to take it easy.
Is it necessary to be so hard on yourself? Work while in med school??

Only if it is required, do so. Everyone's in a diff. situation. I have great aspirations but I know that it is better to act smart than work "hard"

The ex-frat ( since I am a frat :D ) guy has a lot of responsibility, if you didn't realize also he has a PhD! He definitely has more knowledge and experience!

Let me tell you about this guy then "Carl Icahn" - medical school dropout and now a biollionaire! How about that!
 

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I will be starting med. school this August and I cannot say how appreciative I am of this thread. In college (I know, med. school is a WHOLE different monster) I held down at least 3 part time jobs (I funded my undergrad. education with very little help), actually went to class, did pretty well :p , was an officer in numerous clubs and committees, volunteered, did internships, and was an RA. Oh and I actually went out with my friends. I just couldn't see it happening in med. school. But, it's nice to know that it is in fact possible. I just can't even comprehend how I kept it all together when I was in school, and the idea of doing the same (at a different level) during med. school is daunting. But, I am a bundle of energy and it's really great to see that med. school will not be my only activity. Thanks everyone--I'm glad I fell upon these posts.
 

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sweetpeamd09 said:
I will be starting med. school this August and I cannot say how appreciative I am of this thread. In college (I know, med. school is a WHOLE different monster) I held down at least 3 part time jobs (I funded my undergrad. education with very little help), actually went to class, did pretty well :p , was an officer in numerous clubs and committees, volunteered, did internships, and was an RA. Oh and I actually went out with my friends. I just couldn't see it happening in med. school. But, it's nice to know that it is in fact possible. I just can't even comprehend how I kept it all together when I was in school, and the idea of doing the same (at a different level) during med. school is daunting. But, I am a bundle of energy and it's really great to see that med. school will not be my only activity. Thanks everyone--I'm glad I fell upon these posts.
Look folks, most people, especially the "traditional" unmarried medical student, don't have to work while going to medical school. Generally speaking (generally, dammit) all of your tuition and your bare-bones living expenses can be covered by federal student loans. You can also borrow privately to make up any shortfall (Like I did) or you can tighten your belt a little. Most of you are young. Poverty is an adventure when you are 24. My wife and I didn't have the proverbial pot to piss in when we first got married but we were pretty happy, as I recall.

Also don't be to reluctant to incur some debt. I am consolidating about 100K of my federal loans and the monthly payment will be around $300. THis seems like a lot of money but even in a less lucrative specialty you should be easily able to afford a payment like that or even two or three times as much. Just look at it as a cost of doing business as a physician.

Or, think of it like this. The measly pittance you will lose sleep and jeapordize your grades for during your four years of medical school will probably only amount to a couple of months salary once you finish residency.

Not to mention that in most residency programs, after your intern year you can moonlight and really make some serious money.
 

sweetpeamd09

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Panda Bear said:
Look folks, most people, especially the "traditional" unmarried medical student, don't have to work while going to medical school. Generally speaking (generally, dammit) all of your tuition and your bare-bones living expenses can be covered by federal student loans. You can also borrow privately to make up any shortfall (Like I did) or you can tighten your belt a little. Most of you are young. Poverty is an adventure when you are 24. My wife and I didn't have the proverbial pot to piss in when we first got married but we were pretty happy, as I recall.

Also don't be to reluctant to incur some debt. I am consolidating about 100K of my federal loans and the monthly payment will be around $300. THis seems like a lot of money but even in a less lucrative specialty you should be easily able to afford a payment like that or even two or three times as much. Just look at it as a cost of doing business as a physician.

Or, think of it like this. The measly pittance you will lose sleep and jeapordize your grades for during your four years of medical school will probably only amount to a couple of months salary once you finish residency.

Not to mention that in most residency programs, after your intern year you can moonlight and really make some serious money.
Loans, loans, loans. At this point I think that is all I can expect! :) Truth be told some measly little job is not going to help me fund my education and I will most likely have to take loans out for personal expenses. BTW while we're on the topic, most of the med. schools I interviewed at told us that we can't take out loans for present debt--most concerning to me: car payments... Anyone know any more about that?

As of right now I think it will benefit me most to study hard and to have a little smidgen of fun and relaxation. I just am not sure if a small paycheck that will hardly fund my toiletry purchases is worth the expended effort.

Thanks for your advice...and moonlighting, beautiful moonlighting (but so so far away!)...
 

whorubigman

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Whether you can have jobs, have fun, etc., besides studying all depends on how you structure your life. Med students are not really smarter than other people, if you really objectively look at their lives. So, just because a mass of med students tell you authoratively that you need to relax and what not, that doesn't mean that you should even consider that as a trustworthy option.

Start med school, start studying effectively, and see whether and where you can free up some time to work, go out, etc. Many of us work during undergrad, even though the loans were hefty in most cases. So, to say that a med student should not hold jobs because the loans are huge relative to the hourly wage you'll be getting working during med school really is probably more of an excuse. I think the reason many of us, including myself, try to delude ourselves into thinking that working during med school is not even an option may be that we are counting on making money as doctors after graduating.

So, sweetpea, don't listen to me or other people regarding working during med school. You'll know on your own, if you can be truly honest with yourself, i.e., honest to the point of admitting that it is possible to work during med school or that it is not really possible, once you start med school and learn effective ways of studying.

I have many regrets over my first two years of med school. Hopefully, you can read these and not make such mistakes like myself-- you probably will not even have to read these, because you were able to do so much, e.g., working and doing well at school, as an undergrad.

First, I tried to spend all my time outside of medical school lectures, PBLs, labs, etc., on studying, and ended up, in a paradoxical way, not studying most of the time but actually wasting time like I never did in my entire life since high school. I tried not to appear studious by trying to barely pass because I stupidly thought, "well, the first two years of med school are not really important because most of the real, practical information will be learned after that. So, why not just pass the first two years with minimal effort?"

My step I score is low. And, now I have to study super hard and take the step II early to let residency programs know that I actually can do better on tests.

My classmates who seemed to be doing well, i.e., being invited to AOA and scoring high consistently, at school were very different from each other in terms of how they specifically spent their time, as far as I could tell. However, there were some overlapping things they did. Most of them had at least one research responsibility in their interested specialties. Most of them studied really hard and did not waste time too much on message boards like this one. Each of them seemed to have a hobby they thoroughly enjoyed, e.g., photography, painting, biking, training for triathelon, lifting weights, spending time with their kids if they were married, etc. Most of them attempted to study with the main goal of UNDERSTANDING and memorizing for LONG-term retrieval of info. And, most of them knew of AOA; I did not even know what it was until well in to the first semester of the first year.

AOA, as you prob know, is an honour society --secret to most med students--for high scoring med students; some skeptics say it's subjective, but it's actually more objective, as one must score high on exams. I think at my school it's certain top percentages of students that get in.
So, study superhard even at the beginning of your first year, if you want to have options of being able to pick competitive specialties, like radiation oncology, by getting yourself in the AOA.

Two guys who scored really high on the step I and ended up getting the competitive specialities they were interested in studied daily. One worked as a dj during some weekends and the other was a professional drummer and a professional photographer.

One girl who was the first female to get into the extremely competitive specialty at our hospital was also a daily studier. She was also a very good mountain climber and did many outdoor activities.

One guy worked as a Kaplan tutor, worked at a lab in his interested field, played mucho golfing, and participated in many organizations as a leader.

I really do not know what everyone in my med school does in her/his free time, but I can tell you that those that scored high on exams and step I actually did many interesting things.

In short, study superhard, try to get into AOA, and ace tests.
Continue to enjoy your hobbies. Try to do research, if you want to be able to pick competitive specialties down the line. And, if you need the money or want to be as debt-free as you can when you graduate, hold part-time jobs.
Believe it or not, doing all those as a med student is definitely possible and will make you a happy person. Doing things otherwise, e.g., going to school and studying and not doing anything else, may not be a good idea.

Well, sweetpea, good luck to you again, and find your own priorities and work hard! I won't be visiting this website again, as I have searched through this somewhat helpful website ad nauseum over the month for answers to my questions regarding residency, specialities, etc. Byebye, and stay confident and work hard!!! :)

sweetpeamd09 said:
I will be starting med. school this August and I cannot say how appreciative I am of this thread. In college (I know, med. school is a WHOLE different monster) I held down at least 3 part time jobs (I funded my undergrad. education with very little help), actually went to class, did pretty well :p , was an officer in numerous clubs and committees, volunteered, did internships, and was an RA. Oh and I actually went out with my friends. I just couldn't see it happening in med. school. But, it's nice to know that it is in fact possible. I just can't even comprehend how I kept it all together when I was in school, and the idea of doing the same (at a different level) during med. school is daunting. But, I am a bundle of energy and it's really great to see that med. school will not be my only activity. Thanks everyone--I'm glad I fell upon these posts.
 

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whorubigman said:
...I think the reason many of us, including myself, try to delude ourselves into thinking that working during med school is not even an option may be that we are counting on making money as doctors after graduating....

This is not a a delusion. Most of us will make a lot of money as doctors. Maybe not after graduation (unless we moonlight which is possible and practical in some residency programs) but certainly after residency.

I, for one, am definitely counting on making money.

But your post is generally correct. I know people who seem to have time for other activities in medical school. I can see how a PBL curriculum might give you big chunkes of predictable free time.
 

whorubigman

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Panda Bear said:
This is not a a delusion. Most of us will make a lot of money as doctors. Maybe not after graduation (unless we moonlight which is possible and practical in some residency programs) but certainly after residency.

I, for one, am definitely counting on making money.

But your post is generally correct. I know people who seem to have time for other activities in medical school. I can see how a PBL curriculum might give you big chunkes of predictable free time.
What I meant by deluding is this: (delude ourselves into thinking) that working during med school is not even an option. What I said was not this: delude ourselves into thinking that, as doctors, we'll make lots of money. A subtle difference, but they do not mean the same. Hopefully, it's clearer now.

My school, back when I was attedning the first two years of med school, was infamous for having longest lectures AND PBL sessions, only the first of which may be skipped without many negative consequences on test results. So, it was not the PBL curriculum but the lecture curriculum that allowed my classmates and me to skip out. My post is based on what I have experienced, and it really does not need to be validated, because it is what I and my classmates experienced.

Also, "lots of money" to some may not be so to others, as everyone knows. You get on the average from moonlighting, from what I hear, 50 to even 100 dollars/hr, which you can get by tutoring as med students, if you look around. Some moonlight, others don't. Some work as med students, others don't. Some can handle many things, others shouldn't. However, I believe that many of us, med students, just like some single moms with several jobs and several kids, can juggle many things if we try a little harder. My point is that we feel complacent because we're relying on our future income, which I do not think is the best way to look at our career, as dinero will take, in a subtle way, more importance in our future lives as time goes by. Dinero will slowly overpower your thinking. And you will slowly be less in control of your own life...
 
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