YLFounder

5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2014
62
6
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. I've been thinking about quitting my job once medical school starts, but I'd really prefer to keep it if it's possibile. Does anyone have any experience working during medical school?
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2007
6,567
3,639
DEFEND MIDDLE LANE!
Status
Non-Student
Doing 5+ hour shifts is unfeasible and having worked also in retail pharmacy it takes too much energy that you need for your studies

Sent from my SM-N910P using SDN mobile
 

Azete

2+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2015
774
1,254
Status
Medical Student
Instead of saying "no ****ing way," let's just go through an average day (no exams nearby) in M1 and I'll let you decide.

You have 4-6 lectures per day, each an hour (labs are ~2 hours so they count as two lectures). An easy topic will take you an additional hour outside of class to fully understand, a hard lecture will take you ~3 hours, let's be super conservative and say 1.5 hours for every hour in class. Let's also assume you go to a school without mandatory attendance (I don't), you never go to class, and you're proficient at watching lectures at 2x.

So, if it's a 5 lecture day, you'll have 2.5 hours of watching 2x lectures, and 7.5 hours of additional study time. To process effectively you'll need at least a 10-15 minute break for every hour of study time. That's a 12 hour day. You can push some of this work to the weekend, but the more you do that the less time you'll have to review the week's material to keep it fresh (if you don't review regularly, come exam time you'll be learning it all over again). At a minimum you'll also need to spend 10-15 minutes, per lecture, reviewing the slides for the next day. That's another hour. In order to focus properly and process anything (without prescription drugs), you'll also need at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

So, for everything else in your life, you've got 4 remaining hours. And this is not a busy week.

If I had to spend my ultra limited free time working, I'd be an incredibly depressed person (and probably a much worse student).
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2007
6,567
3,639
DEFEND MIDDLE LANE!
Status
Non-Student
I drove for Uber and Lyft my fourth year of medical school and loved it. Filled a lot of the downtime, especially when the weather was too bad to go outside and enjoy it. If anyone wants a cash referral bonus PM me.
I think the hightlighted term is the key word in your post and why it has no bearing or relationship to the posters situation
 

kavorca

10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2008
448
365
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I think it depends on your school. Mine had 6-8 week blocks between exams during years 1 and 2. I worked in those first 3-4 weeks and then would shut it down in the last half of the block.
 

Ismet

PGY-almost done!
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
May 15, 2011
9,949
9,802
Status
Resident [Any Field]
A couple people at my school worked during MS1/MS2. One in my class continued their engineering job part time. Another in a class below me was an EMT.

It's possible depending on how flexible your school is (we didn't have that many required sessions per week, so MS1/MS2 were largely on our own time), but it's not advisable unless you really need that income for something. You should spend that time studying if you don't need that money.

A couple people drove for Uber, even in 3rd year. Those things are on your own time obviously, and during light rotations or when you have weekends off and there's a game or show in town that there's a high demand for drivers, you can rake in the dough.
 
  • Like
Reactions: benjamin94559

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,942
17,763
All of Time & Space
there was already a recent thread on this, use SDN search function

also, some schools have a policy not allowing you to work another job/need clearance (often you can do research free/paid, or tutor other students)

I suggest you focus on your studies initially, you may find your hands full
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,634
78,882
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
It's not. Med school is a full time job.
I'm a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. I've been thinking about quitting my job once medical school starts, but I'd really prefer to keep it if it's possibile. Does anyone have any experience working during medical school?
 

Mr. Hat

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2006
937
940
Status
Attending Physician
I've replied to these threads before. I worked 12-20 hours a week as an ED Tech. Passed all classes, never failed a test, no problems, matched well into residency and now fellowship. Totally doable.

What it did to my personal life is another story.

Gotta weigh the pros and cons but it can be done.
 
  • Love
Reactions: ivva5363

prettylittlebird

2+ Year Member
May 6, 2016
125
167
Status
Medical Student
At least two classmates worked (probably very part-time hours) during school. I believe they were both LPNs or RNs and I think they were able to study a little bit during their shifts. I worked very occasionally as a nighttime babysitter (I would come over after the kid had gone to sleep so mom & dad could go out and I studied for a few hours). I also know some people who drove Lyft throughout medical school, not just 4th year. It's doable depending on what job you have but I'm not sure about pharmacy...
 

BadgerBadger

7+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2012
93
100
I worked 15-20 hours my first year, but had to quit because they were scheduling me the night before exams until 11pm when I had exams at 7:30-8am the next day, which wasn't kosher. I even asked off a month in advance. During the year it's not too bad though.
 

Rekt

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
1,486
3,235
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You guys are some superstars then. I could not even imagine working at all, especially as a pharm tech, you wouldn't have any down for studying it seems. Everyone grabbing their narcs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Psai

Petypet

10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2009
781
692
Ohio
Status
Attending Physician
I worked and did research, and prioritized my studies during study time. Its possible, but the money wasn't worth it. Do things that will be beneficial and a valuable use of your minimal spare time.
 
Feb 9, 2013
674
256
Status
Medical Student
I felt like it was definitely possible during 1st year. Probably not for everyone though. Definitely will be sacrificing leisure time.
 

Mansamusa

2+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,310
1,308
Status
Medical Student
Some schools have jobs/work-study jobs where you sit at a desk (and can therefore study the whole time). You can look into that, but I feel like working a job where you have to think would get tiring on top of everything else.
 
OP
YLFounder

YLFounder

5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2014
62
6
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you all so much for your responses!
 

flightnurse2MD

I’m just a Maserati in a world of Kias
Bronze Donor
5+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2014
367
585
Southwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've replied to these threads before. I worked 12-20 hours a week as an ED Tech. Passed all classes, never failed a test, no problems, matched well into residency and now fellowship. Totally doable.

What it did to my personal life is another story.

Gotta weigh the pros and cons but it can be done.
Word.
 

JonathanHusky

Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration
Mar 15, 2014
166
223
Status
Pre-Medical
do medical schools offer work study positions? something laid back and chill that allows you to study during downtime? like receptionist at a library or a tutoring center for a few hours during the week?
 

christmasindr

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2016
101
65
Status
Medical Student
do medical schools offer work study positions? something laid back and chill that allows you to study during downtime? like receptionist at a library or a tutoring center for a few hours during the week?
It depends from school to school. It is not uncommon that a med school hire tutors or TAs to teach.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stagg737

Ho0v-man

2+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
1,987
4,899
Status
Medical Student
For me, it would have to be super flexible. Like basically letting me pick and choose my schedule.
 

AsianPersuasion

7+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2011
926
715
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I still do hospice home visits as a nurse every other weekend on Saturday. It's pretty cushy and it's easy.
 
Aug 25, 2017
212
285
You could probably get away with like 1 shift per week, if you are willing to do that at the expense of something else (relax time, hobby, research project, etc). Personally I think it's a poor idea. The few thousand dollars you will make aren't worth it.
 
Sep 9, 2017
87
37
Status
Medical Student
really depends on the amount of time you work and the type of work. I would say that you could probably pull something off very part time (less than 4 hours and non exhausting) but it will make life considerably more difficult, that's the hard truth.
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,280
18,754
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
do medical schools offer work study positions? something laid back and chill that allows you to study during downtime? like receptionist at a library or a tutoring center for a few hours during the week?
Mine does. You have a cap on how many hours you can work and most of the time is simply spent studying mixed with minor tasks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JonathanHusky
Jan 7, 2014
15
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
No work study at mine. I worked the first semester of med school 16 hrs/wk doing data stuff for my gap year job while they looked for a replacement from me. At the same time I was spending 10 hrs/wk on a video game team (non-flexible hours as we had to schedule blocks of time to for 25 people to play at once for at least 3 hr chunks at a time) and was very stressful (imagine losing to a boss a hundred times in a row before being able to beat it and we were second on our server). After first semester, I started replacing my working hours with helping my husband's sisters with their children (also no downtime but was fun). All doable. Until third year. During rotations you barely have enough time to eat and sleep let alone study for the exams. And then 4th year is a blessing.
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
5,894
6,372
Status
Medical Student
do medical schools offer work study positions? something laid back and chill that allows you to study during downtime? like receptionist at a library or a tutoring center for a few hours during the week?
I think a lot do. It comes up on the FAFSA and was factored into my financial aid.
 

operaman

7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2010
1,921
4,475
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Add me to the list of had a small part time gig all through Med school.

I don’t recommend it overall, but if you find you have extra time and want to work, I don’t see any issues so long as your school doesn’t prohibit it. I think things like Uber and lyft would be perfect because they are so flexible.
 

Nucleophile1

2+ Year Member
May 12, 2015
384
441
Status
Medical Student
A couple of my classmates pick up a scribing shift once or twice a month. Unless you have a really lucrative job, I honestly don't think it's worth it for an extra $100-$200 per month. I would prefer to spend my free time doing other things besides working.
 

Jdp00921

5+ Year Member
May 22, 2013
298
315
Naxxramas
Status
Medical Student
No work study at mine. I worked the first semester of med school 16 hrs/wk doing data stuff for my gap year job while they looked for a replacement from me. At the same time I was spending 10 hrs/wk on a video game team (non-flexible hours as we had to schedule blocks of time to for 25 people to play at once for at least 3 hr chunks at a time) and was very stressful (imagine losing to a boss a hundred times in a row before being able to beat it and we were second on our server). After first semester, I started replacing my working hours with helping my husband's sisters with their children (also no downtime but was fun). All doable. Until third year. During rotations you barely have enough time to eat and sleep let alone study for the exams. And then 4th year is a blessing.
Cheers to my World of Warcraft days! I play League now =D
 

radsisrad

2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2016
314
328
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If you did really well in undergrad, you can tutor - either in-person or online. Tutoring for an hour or two a week will cover your grocery and gasoline costs... pretty nice.
 

moisne

5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2014
1,486
897
I worked ~20-30 hours a week during my ms1/2/4 and about 10hrs/wk during my ms3 but my jobs were all very flexible.

Here are a list of my multiple jobs I worked:
Dog walking
Cat sitting/house sitting (not sure how to count hours for this)
Tutoring in person
Tutoring online (usually while I ate meals, sometimes during lecture if it's a dry one).
Nails
Grading papers/making homework/quizzes/exam for a teacher
Property manager (basically it's passive income if nothing bad happens)

But I don't think you would be able to work a job that has a set schedule as a med student.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
9,323
8,340
The Black
Status
Medical Student
Instead of saying "no ****ing way," let's just go through an average day (no exams nearby) in M1 and I'll let you decide.

You have 4-6 lectures per day, each an hour (labs are ~2 hours so they count as two lectures). An easy topic will take you an additional hour outside of class to fully understand, a hard lecture will take you ~3 hours, let's be super conservative and say 1.5 hours for every hour in class. Let's also assume you go to a school without mandatory attendance (I don't), you never go to class, and you're proficient at watching lectures at 2x.

So, if it's a 5 lecture day, you'll have 2.5 hours of watching 2x lectures, and 7.5 hours of additional study time. To process effectively you'll need at least a 10-15 minute break for every hour of study time. That's a 12 hour day. You can push some of this work to the weekend, but the more you do that the less time you'll have to review the week's material to keep it fresh (if you don't review regularly, come exam time you'll be learning it all over again). At a minimum you'll also need to spend 10-15 minutes, per lecture, reviewing the slides for the next day. That's another hour. In order to focus properly and process anything (without prescription drugs), you'll also need at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

So, for everything else in your life, you've got 4 remaining hours. And this is not a busy week.

If I had to spend my ultra limited free time working, I'd be an incredibly depressed person (and probably a much worse student).
Alternatively, you could attend a school like mine, where at most you have 2hrs of lecture, 2hrs of required small group. Lectures aren't recorded, and less than half of the class attends, so no need to watch them later if you skip. Many M1s are therefore done with all of their classes by 10am. There's one day per week where we do have up to 4hrs of lecture, but it's all recorded, so that day is essentially free. Exams are not multiple choice and thus combing through for minutiae is unnecessary. It's not uncommon to neither attend, watch, nor even download the slides for any lectures and just learn from textbooks or online sources. Exams only come around every few months.

So on a given weekday, you have about 3hrs of work (recommended no more or less than that) prepping for small groups, 2hrs of small group, another optional 2hrs of lecture, and at least 3 full days of every 7 completely off (2 weekend days and 1 weekday). There are routinely extra afternoon sessions with sim patients, etc., but you get to schedule those at your convenience and they take minimal prep.