Gap years for medical school?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Jun 5, 2024
Reaction score
The classic question! I have two years for a gap year and am debating whether I should do basic science research or work as a scribe. I have around 350 clinical hours (direct pt care), 250 hours as a RBT and limited research in undergrad (200 hours with one abstract and not really meaningful experience). I have a high GPA but need to take the MCAT for a better score. I'm interested in doing MD or DO (not MD/PhD) and am shooting for any medical school (my mcat won't really hit the T10s and T20s based on my practice tests). The research is really cool (immunology which I am excited about) and the scribe job is working with underserved communities which is also important to me. I'm not worried about the pay since its actually about the same. I can't do both since the research job requires me to be full-time. I can try to find a research job part-time later but its definitely not guaranteed.

Any advice? I know labs tend to have a lot of work and this one is definitely requires me to get lots of training and work outside of lab but I know I can get published sometime and is really good experience. The scribe job is not considered direct pt experience under the program I am in. I'm interested in child and adolescent psychiatry and want to help my community as a physician. I also am a CA resident, ORM

I also do need to study for my mcat while working full time so would also love advice on that. :)

Members don't see this ad.
I'm being a bit of a gunner here but I'd do the research gig and then be a hospice volunteer on the side. Kind of kill two birds with one stone. I'm also one person, don't be afraid to disregard my advice.

For the MCAT- use Anki if you're studying for more than a couple months. And do as many practice questions/exams as possible. I took and fully reviewed 10 full lengths. A little extreme I know, but I scored very well
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users