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  1. Medical Student
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, so I hope I'm doing it right. I'm a senior at a public university, and I've decided pretty late in the game (like several months ago!) that I want to go to med school. I have all the course requirements and good grades, except I haven't taken the MCAT or worked in a hospital yet.

So I plan to take next year off to apply to med schools...and I'll volunteer in a hospital all this coming summer. But my problem is, what kind of options are there for things to do in a year after you graduate and before med school?

I've looked into MPH programs, but I'd rather not take 2 years off, or maybe a job in a lab. But I would really like something with patient contact or good experience...that also pays enough for me to live on. Sounds like a lot of requirements! But any suggestions would be great.

Thanks, and I hope to get to know some of you as I get ready for the MCAT, applications, etc.


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hi! welcome to SDN!
If you wanna take only a year off and maximize your clinical experiences (with money to boot), you might try working as a lab tech or pharm tech at a local hospital. you learn a lot about common lab tests, values, and drugs. some hospitals train you on site and the pay is reasonable (in boston, low 30s; mass general, cambridge hospital). The one downside is that most places will be hesitant to train you if you plan on leaving after just one year. you should figure this out at the hospitals. Another downside is that you won't really see many patients.

You could volunteer at some ward but that gives no pay. Another option is to become an EMT (takes about 3 months for certification training). Pay isn't that great but the experience can be good. You should do a search on the SDN for keywords such as EMT. good luck!


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  1. Attending Physician
I agree with loomis.

If you've got good grades, there is no real reason to do postbac or a masters program. Medical experience, on the other hand, would look very good on your app and be good experience for you!
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