Need help with gap year job options

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2+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2020
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Hi, I’m a reapplicant to medical school, and I'm faced with a tough decision for finding a job for my current gap year. I've narrowed it down to two options, and I'd appreciate any advice or experiences you can share.

Option 1: Clinical Research Coordinator

  • Financially, it offers more income
  • It allows me to engage in both clinical work and research
  • Opportunities to work closely with physicians and possibly receive mentorship
  • I worked as a research coordinator in a different lab for the past 1.5 years and I'm not sure if I'll be able to gain significantly more from this position

Option 2: National Health Corps

  • More service-oriented and may offer unique experiences
  • I would be gaining more clinical volunteer hours (I do have paid clinical hours)
  • It would be financially less rewarding than the research coordinator role (would receive half the income)
  • I have about 3000 hours of clinical research experience (2000 hours clinical/patient-facing, 1000 hours administrative work)
  • Volunteer hours- Non-clinical: 450 hours, Clinical: 50 hours
  • Other research hours: 600 hours (mostly wet lab)
Although it is a factor, money is not a priority at the moment and I am interested in the work that both positions offer. I would like to know which option you think would be more helpful in making my application the strongest it can be. Thank you in advance for your help!

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Just at a glance, seems like you already have a lot of research hours; if you wanted to make your app more balanced in terms of research vs. volunteering, the National Health Corp might be the way to go. At the same time if research is your jam, you could just make your app really research focused.

If both options are equally compelling for you, what narrative do you want adcoms to pick up?
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Agree with the above that it needs to fit your narrative, your future goals, and the schools you're applying for. There is no one right choice in that regard.
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