dancingdoctor13

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I was wondering, during a gap year in which one is applying for medical school (year between finishing undergrad and hopefully starting med school) is it imperative that I work in the medical field or something similar (public health, etc) to show that I am still interested in going to medical school? I want to get a real job so I can earn some money to spend on my med school education and without a masters in something, i can't get anything substantial in the medical related field that is not minimum wage, thus am looking for jobs in other fields.

Also, is working at a gym considered a medically related job? (like a personal trainer and fitness instructor)?What about as a science teacher?
 
Oct 9, 2009
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I was wondering, during a gap year in which one is applying for medical school (year between finishing undergrad and hopefully starting med school) is it imperative that I work in the medical field or something similar (public health, etc) to show that I am still interested in going to medical school? I want to get a real job so I can earn some money to spend on my med school education and without a masters in something, i can't get anything substantial in the medical related field that is not minimum wage, thus am looking for jobs in other fields.

Also, is working at a gym considered a medically related job? (like a personal trainer and fitness instructor)?What about as a science teacher?
I don't think it is imperative that you work in the medical field during a gap year. Make sure you have solid extra-curriculars and volunteering during the year. Make sure you put in some solid hours into studying for the mcat. Make sure you convey to those around you (including friends and family) your serious interest in going to medical school. One of the things I like about your idea of being a science teacher is that it will give you amazing opportunities to get involved, such as science fairs, inspiring underprivileged talented (possibly lazy, unmotivated) youth who need a kick from a mentor, etc... When you make your decision, consider all of the possible opportunities you will be opened up to. Also, write our your plan on paper. If you have a solid plan right in front of you, it is easy to see what the experience says about you--i.e. the gap year.

If your heart is in it, then you will do excellent at your med school interviews. It is good to be very forward thinking. Just make sure not to get lazy. I have a friend who is a teacher who gets exhausted so be warned that the job may be a drain on your future motivation. Definitely feel the weekends with excellent volunteering & shadowing opportunities. Working in a gym might give you a chance to perform CPR and save someone's life. You never know what can happen. You'll benefit from the either experience and I would lean toward science teacher over working at a gym. Also, it will look really good if you go to the poorest school in your district and try to be a mentor for 2-3 kids and have some of them make it into college and help them learn how to apply for scholarships etc... Either way, just make the most of what life gives you and convey it well into your application, essays, and interviews. :luck:
 
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ArkansasRanger

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Why do you have to work in the medical field?

Look for the easiest, highest paying job you can find. Now, that may only be driving a trash truck for $9 / hour, but still who wants to hire someone for full-time, quality work knowing they'll only stay there for a year or a little less.

The gym job sounds like a pretty good one. You'll probably get free membership, time to work out, and have plenty of stress free time to veg out, watch tv, and do whatever else you like doing.
 

DrJosephKim

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Make the most out of that single gap year because you won't ever get to go back! People have enjoyed traveling, working part-time, writing, etc. Working in clinical research could also help you get into competitive residencies when you graduate. Finally, you may want to consider pursuing a one-year MBA or MPH.
 
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NTF

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I think (other than pay) the big issue during the gap year is also FLEXIBILITY. Theoretically you could be interviewing and having to travel into March (or even April). Having a flexible job makes a stressful situation less so.

But I agree with others that it's not so crucial to work in a medical field.

Caveat: There is a permutation that working in the medical field during the gap year is helpful though: The reapp situation.
 
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Advice given to me by a doctor I shadowed:

"Residency directors look for the triple threat: clinician, researcher, and teacher..."

I used that to focus on what to highlight in my amcas applications.

Teaching would be time well spent and look good.

If your resume is set already--ie volunteering, research, patient contact--you can just focus on your job, applying and making some money.

My GAP year job is not medically related at all, but it is interesting to talk about and pays well---interviewers understood that.
 

mjjdm1985

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I graduated with an accounting degree last August and am applying for medical school this summer. This gives me almost 2 years off if I get accepted the first time. I saw some advice that said get the easiest, most flexible, highest-paying job you can. I completely agree with this! I began working as an auditor for the Department of Defense last September, and although it is not necessarily easy the work week is never more than 40 hours and is consistent. The pay is also good. This has enabled me to study for the MCAT, retake a course, and save so that when I do get in I can put some of the money toward medical school costs and some of it toward enjoying the time before I start.

Even though my job is not medically related, the logical thought process I went through when deciding where to work impressed my premedical advisor and professors. One of my main reasons was that when I graduate from medical school I want to be financially flexible enough to work in underserved areas despite possibly being compensated less. I think whatever you do you can tie it in to future career goals.

Hope this helps :)
 

rem6775

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No, it doesn't matter. I was an economics major in undergrad, and had a management job during my gap year. Makes no difference.
 

Bakfiets

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You don't have to work in the medical field before med school. In applying, most schools like to see your gpa, some volunteer work, and your MCATs - what you do for work is not high on the list. Life experience, not work experience, is the most crucial.

I took off and spent a year travelling the US and then Europe and I got in just fine.
 

dancingdoctor13

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I was actually really interested in becoming a math or science teacher. Do any of you know if you can earn a teaching credential in less than a year, or apply for an emergency teaching credential right away (in subject you got ur degree in (say math or science subject)? I don't want to use the time getting a masters in teaching for the year, if I don't end up using it because I am lucky enough to get into med school next year.
 

ArkansasRanger

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I was actually really interested in becoming a math or science teacher. Do any of you know if you can earn a teaching credential in less than a year, or apply for an emergency teaching credential right away (in subject you got ur degree in (say math or science subject)? I don't want to use the time getting a masters in teaching for the year, if I don't end up using it because I am lucky enough to get into med school next year.
Some states offer an emergency certification for just such a thing. I advise against it. I graduated college in 2003 with a bunch of science classes under my belt, the need for a job, and an interest in having holidays and weekends off. That said, I found a program here in Arkansas for which teachers take the Praxis series exams (very easy), sit through a two week seminar, and then get a provisional teaching license. The catch is that you've got to attend one Saturday per month for the duration of the school year. The next year you do the same thing, and at the end of it you take a test (observer watches you) and if you pass you get a standard teacher's license.

I taught a semester before getting into that program, went through the two week deal, taught a year and did the Saturday thing (got lunch catered everyday!), summer the next year, and up through November of the second year's series of Saturdays. At Thanksgiving I quit my teaching job and the program and took up police work very shortly thereafter, but I was just a few months away from completing it all. I don't regret not finishing the program. I like teaching and precepting people, but I hated being a classroom / school teacher.