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Summer Jobs for the pre-med?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Nanook, Mar 16, 2000.

  1. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 1999
    Fairbanks, AK USA
    I'm just full of good questions!

    Maybe you all can help me with this one as well--

    What's a decent summer job for a pre-med to gain some experience? More importantly, what is the average joe qualified for at a hospital? I have my EMT 1, and about 6 months experience volunteering with a service.

    I've been looking around, and it seems most of the jobs (surgery tech, med tech, etc) require a 1-year program meant for people with no other post-HS education. What the heck is a med-tech anyway?

    Oh well. Anyone with advice or info would be appreciated.
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  3. Green007

    Green007 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    I've found that working as a PCA, not CPA, is an excellent way to gain some good medical experience. PCA stands for personal care attendant and you usually do it in someone's home. The pays fairly decent and the experience is great. In the past year I have learned about all kinds of different conditions. I now know how to operate all kinds of caregiving machines. And I have gained the experience of working closely with someone who is sick and has a condition. Plus, the training is very minimal. It took me about three hours. There's plenty of companies that place PCA's, so call around.
  4. fmfcorpsman

    fmfcorpsman Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    New Berlin, WI USA
    The best job for a premed over the summer is in summer research programs. Many colleges run summer undergraduate research programs where you do research alongside the faculty. If you get a good researcher and project you may get your name on a couple of papers.
  5. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000

    I am an EMT as well and many hospitals here (in Connecticut)allow you to work as an ER Tech, only having the EMT license. I am also a Certified Nurses Aide and find that to be backbreaking, but enjoyable work (I work for a Visiting Nurses Agency).
    Volunteer alot with EMS, it's alot of fun and gives you some greta experiences. It also gives you a chance to see things you may not see in the ER itself.
    Anyone who has ever worked in the field knows that what the "packaged" patient looks like when they roll through the ER doors is NOT what they looked like when the EMTs first got there.
    Also, once you have your foot in the door of any hospital (I started out in maintenance/housekeepin/environmental services) it is MUCH easier to push yourself around and get some great shadowing chances.
    My advice...get your foot in the door of a hospital, preferably in the patient care sector, but most certainly get your foot in the door. If you have to wash floors, that's better than nothing. Then, start making friends...lots of friends...and hint about what you want to do and you will be suprised how many people will do what they can to help you out. So far it has worked for me.
    Best of luck.

    Josh Hazelton
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    "D.O. Wannabe"
  6. EJS

    EJS 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 1999
    Brooklyn, NY
    After my freshman year in college I just worked like a dog to make money which was impressive, had like 4 jobs.
    After sophomore year I did a summer research project at an IVY league medical school, very impressive!!
    After junior year I worked entry level as a patient transport aide in a hospital, very good experience but the job sucked and just reminded me why I wanted to be a doctor and not just anyone in the hospital.
    To finish the story, I got in to the three medical schools I interviewed at. I'd go for research and some hospital experience. And I didn't have to bathe anyone or change any bed pans. [​IMG]
  7. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 1999
    Fairbanks, AK USA
    Hey, thanks for the responses.

    I was all set to go the research route, even had the applications and programs picked out, but then I realized that it would end up costing quite a bit more than the ~2000 dollars they pay as a stipend. I live in Alaska, and have a wife and daughter. We would all have to move, find another apartment and pay for it, etc.

    I'm looking at taking the CNA class here (it's $1000 !!), or maybe just working a regular job and volunteering on the side.

    The EMS system here stinks. All EMS services are handled by the fire department, so you have to be a trained fireman *and* an EMT to answer calls, and for some reason, every other person in town has their EMT. I have a friend who is an EMT Intermediate, has run for 2 years with them, and has never had an interesting run. The few that were even real emergencies were quickly snapped up by the more experienced guys. In the town where I trained as an EMT, my first run was a full code, my 2nd was a stabbing, and so forth.

    I sometimes see ads for "OR Tech" or "Sterile Processing Tech for surgery", or other things like this. Does anyone know what the qualifications are for this type of thing?

  8. Nav

    Nav Member 10+ Year Member

    I agree with Green007, PCA is a good experience to have. Gives you an idea of what people who have serious medical problems go through. There is always a demand for it, so it shouldn't be hard to find a job. There are different areas within it: group homes, senior care facilities, youth work, etc. So if you don't like giving people baths then you don't have to.
    My friend worked as a sterile processing tech, it was a gross job where he had to clean the hospital equipment after surgeries. Not really medically related, but it paid good.
  9. UnderGrad

    UnderGrad Senior Member 10+ Year Member


    I don't know about OR Techs where you live, but the local community college has a program to train OR Techs in my town that is about a year long, BUT I know you don't have to have this to work as an OR Tech. One of my friends went through the program, and she said a lot of the techs had on the job training. The only problem is they are usually not willing to train someone who is just going to be around for a summer or so. The reason is that it takes awhile to become what a doctor would call a GOOD OR tech simply because the "GOOD" part can't be learned in the classroom -- it comes from learning the different surgeon's personalities and instrument preferences, etc. I don't know if this information helps any. If you could get that job, I think it would be cool, but there are sucky parts that I've heard about that aren't too interesting, such as holding legs or arms for what seems like forever, and tolerating certain surgeon's personalities. On closing, I want to remind you that all of this information is second hand and I have no first-hand knowledge of any of this, but I thought I would offer what I have heard from my friend.

    Good luck!

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