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Struggling to Find Adequate Gap Year Job

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Icy14

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I have been having trouble finding an adequate job in my small(ish) town for my 2 gap years. The only positions available near me are CNAs. I've been hearing that people are getting rejected from medical schools because being a CNA, you don't work with physicians at all.

For this reason I wanted to be a scribe or medical assistant so I could work directly with doctors, but my town doesn't have any of those positions.

However, I did find one job, but am unsure if it will be good enough experience and would like some feedback. The position is a Histology/Pathology Technical Assistant. About 2/3 of the job is office work, including proofreading the Pathologists' transcriptions and getting to work with them somewhat. The other 1/3 is in the histology lab, registering specimens and assisting in staining frozens, cover slipping, etc.

It sounded pretty interesting, and is a plus that I'd be getting to know and work with 4-5 pathologists that would hopefully show me a lot. It would be interesting to read their transcriptions and learn about their cases. The downsides are that I'd be doing a lot of office work, and my dad who is a physician said that reading transcriptions would get boring in a hurry.

Would this be good enough experience for medical schools? I interviewed for this position and am fairly certain I will get an offer, but am not sure if I should take it, or keep looking.

I'm not super thrilled about staying in my hometown during my gap years. I've been hoping to move to a large city a few hours away where there are tons of cool opportunities working with doctors. I've applied to several jobs but have not heard anything back, so I'm trying to decide if I should take this Histo/Path position, or turn it down and keep looking for something better.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

ciestar

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There are zero issues for admissions purposes if you work as a CNA.
 
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Icy14

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There are zero issues for admissions purposes if you work as a CNA.

I know that it is good experience, and I have already worked as a CNA during the summer. I just want to make sure that I don't get rejected for not having enough experience working with physicians.
 

OneTwoThreeFour

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I have been having trouble finding an adequate job in my small(ish) town for my 2 gap years. The only positions available near me are CNAs. I've been hearing that people are getting rejected from medical schools because being a CNA, you don't work with physicians at all.

For this reason I wanted to be a scribe or medical assistant so I could work directly with doctors, but my town doesn't have any of those positions.

However, I did find one job, but am unsure if it will be good enough experience and would like some feedback. The position is a Histology/Pathology Technical Assistant. About 2/3 of the job is office work, including proofreading the Pathologists' transcriptions and getting to work with them somewhat. The other 1/3 is in the histology lab, registering specimens and assisting in staining frozens, cover slipping, etc.

It sounded pretty interesting, and is a plus that I'd be getting to know and work with 4-5 pathologists that would hopefully show me a lot. It would be interesting to read their transcriptions and learn about their cases. The downsides are that I'd be doing a lot of office work, and my dad who is a physician said that reading transcriptions would get boring in a hurry.

Would this be good enough experience for medical schools? I interviewed for this position and am fairly certain I will get an offer, but am not sure if I should take it, or keep looking.

I'm not super thrilled about staying in my hometown during my gap years. I've been hoping to move to a large city a few hours away where there are tons of cool opportunities working with doctors. I've applied to several jobs but have not heard anything back, so I'm trying to decide if I should take this Histo/Path position, or turn it down and keep looking for something better.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

The forum adcoms may correct me but I don't believe working in the histo/path lab counts as clinical experience whereas CNA would definitely count as that. I second your father's concern that it also sounds tremendously boring.
 
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ciestar

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I know that it is good experience, and I have already worked as a CNA during the summer. I just want to make sure that I don't get rejected for not having enough experience working with physicians.

Shadowing accomplishes this.

My clinical experience included my time as a nursing student (essentially a lot cna work) and pharmacy tech (questionable at best here lol). And i had 54 shadowing hours. Im an ms3. It wasnt a problem. What they want is you working with PATIENTS.
 

Tenk

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Sup. I was a pathologist tech before med school. It was a great gig with a much better foot in the door than CNA, especially if your pathologists are nice (which most are).

Totally not as boring as you may think too. You get to see all sorts of body parts/things you may never get to see again even if you go to medical school. I got to open some teratomas, saw a fetal autopsy (pretty sad) and numerous other things. I would also get to drive in a golf cart across the campus with various human parts, like legs, that they would keep in special places for months. (Still nfi why anyone needs to keep an amputated leg that long but whatever, golf cart!). My favorite thing though was every month I got to dress up in full PAPR and dump all the formalin specimens they had been keeping into a calinder kind of like straining spaghetti only it was with various human body parts and then dump them into a biohazard bin. When it came time in med school to show how to use N-95 and full PAPR I was like: bitch please. Watch this.

I would still consider it clinical as you still see patients, either dead or just pieces of them.
 
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Icy14

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Shadowing accomplishes this.

My clinical experience included my time as a nursing student (essentially a lot cna work) and pharmacy tech (questionable at best here lol). And i had 54 shadowing hours. Im an ms3. It wasnt a problem. What they want is you working with PATIENTS.

Right! I'm definitely making sure that I have plenty of shadowing hours. I also have experience working with patients as I was a CNA in the past and did lots of clinical volunteering. But if I already have that experience covered, is it such a bad thing to take a job that doesn't involve patients? I'd still be working with physicians...
 

RNtoMD87

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I am an RN but I volunteer doing autopsies on the side. Awesome experience. Its a lot of fun.

Just saw my first fetal autopsy a few weeks ago (20 weeks gestation).

Lots of gunshot fatalities, drug overdoses, MVC, good stuff. You basically get to do everything. Only thing I don't do is open the cranium on GSW to the head, incase it goes to court, I won't have to testify and theres no chance of me messing something up.

You'll get a LOT of sewing and cutting experience, be able to visualize the human body, operate an xray machine, and more.
 
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Icy14

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Sup. I was a pathologist tech before med school. It was a great gig with a much better foot in the door than CNA, especially if your pathologists are nice (which most are).

Totally not as boring as you may think too. You get to see all sorts of body parts/things you may never get to see again even if you go to medical school. I got to open some teratomas, saw a fetal autopsy (pretty sad) and numerous other things. I would also get to drive in a golf cart across the campus with various human parts, like legs, that they would keep in special places for months. (Still nfi why anyone needs to keep an amputated leg that long but whatever, golf cart!). My favorite thing though was every month I got to dress up in full PAPR and dump all the formalin specimens they had been keeping into a calinder kind of like straining spaghetti only it was with various human body parts and then dump them into a biohazard bin. When it came time in med school to show how to use N-95 and full PAPR I was like: bitch please. Watch this.

I would still consider it clinical as you still see patients, either dead or just pieces of them.

That job sounds really cool! Unfortunately I'm pretty sure that mine is quite different from that. I wouldn't get to directly help the pathologists with anything, so no body parts or autopsies, just proofreading transcriptions and working with them a little in the office. I guess there's a chance that one of them would take me under their wing and try to show me some of the more interesting stuff.
 

Icy14

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I am an RN but I volunteer doing autopsies on the side. Awesome experience. Its a lot of fun.

Just saw my first fetal autopsy a few weeks ago (20 weeks gestation).

Lots of gunshot fatalities, drug overdoses, MVC, good stuff. You basically get to do everything. Only thing I don't do is open the cranium on GSW to the head, incase it goes to court, I won't have to testify and theres no chance of me messing something up.

You'll get a LOT of sewing and cutting experience, be able to visualize the human body, operate an xray machine, and more.

I bet that's so cool! But this position I interviewed for wouldn't involve any of that. I'd basically only interact with the pathologists in the office and proofread their transcriptions.
 

Icy14

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The forum adcoms may correct me but I don't believe working in the histo/path lab counts as clinical experience whereas CNA would definitely count as that. I second your father's concern that it also sounds tremendously boring.

I get that. Is it okay to take a job that isn't necessarily clinical experience, as long as I already have enough from previous jobs/volunteering?
 

ciestar

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Right! I'm definitely making sure that I have plenty of shadowing hours. I also have experience working with patients as I was a CNA in the past and did lots of clinical volunteering. But if I already have that experience covered, is it such a bad thing to take a job that doesn't involve patients? I'd still be working with physicians...

I get that. Is it okay to take a job that isn't necessarily clinical experience, as long as I already have enough from previous jobs/volunteering?

It isn’t a bad thing at all! A job just doesnt HAVE to be working with physicians is all. If you’re interested and have experience with patients, go for it.
 

RNtoMD87

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Not really that bad until you're cutting into the guts. Bone smells like getting a tooth filled, and the muscles smell like meat. Its weird how it makes you hungry..
 

OneTwoThreeFour

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I get that. Is it okay to take a job that isn't necessarily clinical experience, as long as I already have enough from previous jobs/volunteering?

I think it is totally fine but if you're not pursuing a job for the clinical experience portion then you could do anything. I think I'd rather see someone spend the year working in food service with a handful of shadowing and volunteering hours than the pathology job.
 

DoctorSwagger

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Not really that bad until you're cutting into the guts. Bone smells like getting a tooth filled, and the muscles smell like meat. Its weird how it makes you hungry..

IMG_5963.JPG




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RNtoMD87

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View attachment 240270



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It’s true. It fools your body into thinking it’s food. We’ve all discussed it post autopsy before. Now there’s this one tech that will actually eat a sandwich while charting the paperwork like 10 feet from the body while we are performing the autopsy. Gross.
 
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LizzyM

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A job is a job. A job with docs is a bonus. Adcoms understand that you need to work during a gap year and are happy to see you working. Being a CNA is fine. Being an assistant to pathologists is fine.
 
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