Sep 9, 2015
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Currently a senior in undergrad, planning a gap year before applying next cycle. I have an ibanking gig lined up from last summer's internship. Is there any reason to forgo this offer for another year of research/shadowing/volunteering to boost my app?

For context, I've already done 3 years of research in college (and have 2nd author 1 pub. pending), and am shadowing/volunteering all of this year. When I apply, i'd like to go to a top 20 med school. I'm interested in academic medicine and prestige is important to me.
The big con I see with taking the ibanking gig is the hours are effing long, and come interview time (if I am so lucky), I might be exhausted. Also, I'm not sure how med schools will perceive doing ibanking for a gap year; will it be negative? The alternative would be to work as a research assistant at my undergrad (hypsm) for sustenance/pennies, and shadow/volunteer...

Thanks for your help!
Oct 8, 2014
Real world experience is good. They appreciate candidates that are successful in whatever they do.
If you feel that you have enough shadowing/research/hands-on clinical experience, then you should be okay to do something else. Check the mission statement of the schools you want to attend and if you tick all the boxes then go ahead and make that money.
No need to :beat:


cat in a box
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
Jun 17, 2014
space chat
Assuming your stats are good, ibanking during gap year is fine. I mean, people obviously have to work and make money, and ibanking is just another job (though with a lot of stress and long hours involved). I could see this helping in a case for MD/MBA at top schools under an academic medicine track.

I don't think top schools would have a problem with this. Some low tiers may (falsely) think you are going after money, but that's moot if you're not applying there


Interview game face: on
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2015
Attending Physician
I would go with your banking job in this situation. If anything, it would help signal that you are a strong applicant given the competitiveness of ibanking. You've already gotten a significant amount of research in, and an extra year is unlikely to make a difference (unless there are projects that are on the verge of finishing that you can jump in on). From what I've noticed, people are increasingly interested in applicants with a finance background given the direction that medicine is heading in. This experience can be educational for you and be an interesting conversation topic during interviews. Having the real-life work experience and extra money also doesn't hurt come application time. Keep up some shadowing and volunteering if possible during the gap year and I think you'll be fine.


Dec 19, 2013
Medical Student
Personally I would gap for a few years if you can stand/survive in ibanking, even for the money alone it will be extremely nice to not have to worry about debt nearly as much during med school/residency/and years afterwards. Personally I would be willing to give up a few years to continue working to make that possible. It also will provide additional options that you may want to pursue post residency if you are still interested in the business side of things.

I'm sure you are aware if you interned there, but it will probably be extremely hard to keep up necessary volunteering/medical related things required to show your interest in medicine at least during your first year or so (of course dependent on your company/etc).