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Scribe for 1 gap year or cancer research for 2 gap years?

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Airplane8

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I am having difficulty choosing between a cancer research lab tech position at a top 30 med school in a big city for 2 years or just scribing for one year. I am ready to apply this June for 2019, I have a 3.7/516, great LRs and decent ECs.

- Already have 400hrs of high quality patient contact however I only have 30hrs of shadowing
- The research job pays much more than the scribe job
- I've met everyone in the lab and they are very welcoming and friendly
- I wouldn't be interacting with patients as a lab tech
- The lab is on the smaller side, I wouldn't be just a set of hands, the last tech had her own project
- The lab tech position will likely be much more rewarding/challenging than scribing
- I've put a lot of work into being prepared to apply for the 2019 cycle not sure if I'm ready to push it off another year

I'm not sure what will look better to an admissions committee? Also not sure if the tech position will look good enough to justify taking two years?
 

justcuriouser

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I’d go for the lab since you have lots of clinical hours and just volunteer and shadow on the side.
 

shapley

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Can't you just apply and work in the lab for 1 year? Why do you have to commit to 2?
 

Airplane8

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Can't you just apply and work in the lab for 1 year? Why do you have to commit to 2?
The PI mention in the interview that she wants someone for 2 years, I wouldn't want to burn a bridge by agreeing to that and then applying for the 2019 cycle and leaving after a year anyways. TBH I've been looking for a research position for about two months now and the large majority seem to want a tech for at least two years
 

shapley

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The PI mention in the interview that she wants someone for 2 years, I wouldn't want to burn a bridge by agreeing to that and then applying for the 2019 cycle and leaving after a year anyways. TBH I've been looking for a research position for about two months now and the large majority seem to want a tech for at least two years

If you don't mind waiting another year it really would strengthen your app some more! However make sure your MCAT test date is still viable (doesn't expire) for the class you want to matriculate into.
 

ServiceFirst

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Lab tech position. Do hard work, earn opportunities to either (1) create your own research project, or (2) become a collaborator with another researcher on their study. This is far more unique than scribing in my opinion.
 

smukke

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Lab tech, as long as 1) you have a reasonable guarantee of your own project (don't assume, talk to the PI), 2) it's a reasonably sized and productive lab, ie at least 1 postdoc + 1 grad student + 1 other tech, has a track record of several pubs per year, PI has R01 or several multi-year grants (check NIH grant website). Research is fun and rewarding but only in the right environment, some labs are on life support.
 
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