About me/My stats: live in New York City. I just graduated from a highly regarded university with a BA. I am currently applying to medical school, and still need to figure out what I am doing during my gap year while I wait to get in somewhere Stats:33 MCAT, 3.5 GPA and SGPA ECS: Conference Presenter in Philosophy, 3 years Lab Research in same lab-if project continues (without me) I will be an author, participated in 1 year long and 1 summer long clinical research projects, had a few leadership positions, 1 year long volunteer position for underprivileged kids where I tutored and coached). There are similar posts up about what to do during the gap year, but there are a few things they do not focus on: Money versus Having a Worthwhile experience. Here are my options (and note I know, July is very late to be getting into all this) The Options 1. I was essentially offered a spot in Columbia's Bioethics Masters Program for this upcoming year (1 year program), while doing volunteer research with a Cornell Medical Ethics Prof. Pros: Continues major work I did as an undergrad, the degree will further my career options after medical school, will be a fascinating experience for me, I can network with important people Cons: Adds potentially $55,000 of debt to my future $200,000-$250,000 of Med School debt that I will incur. 2. Volunteer Bench Research in Molecular Biology at Hospital for Special Surgery or Cornell (I have a few volunteer offers already) Pros: Could be meaningful experience, may lead to an authorship, although it is only one year and it is difficult to do meaningful work in that period of time Cons: Will not get paid! Funding is so low now, it is impossible to get paid. Also, because I'm planning my gap year so late, it is too late for anyone who could pay me to set money aside 3.Take EMT-B course to find a job in an ambulance/hospital as an EMT or ER Technician Pros: Would be great as experience, and expose me to things that will help me in med school, and give me stories for the med school interview Cons: Courses cost around $1,000 and last 3 months, so assuming I can find a job after the course (preferably as an ER Tech) I will only get to work until medical school starts, so figure only December-July (8 months) Thanks SDN for any input/advice. It means a lot, and will be very appreciated!