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To work or not to work?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrPharaohX, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. DrPharaohX

    DrPharaohX Free...your...mind...
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    So, I'm in waitlist hell (it's was my only interview, and now my only waitlist) and beginning to think ahead. The MCAT was a weaker part of my application (28) and I already took it twice. While I wait for a June reply from my school, I have to start preparing again for the MCAT for a third time, beginning in May after I graduate.

    I'm currently working though (OR clerk - I know, "premed job" but I already know the freakin' university hospital a lot more than I should), and my parents feel I should quit work for the time being while I prepare for MCAT. They feel since this is my third time there really are no more chances (I agree) and that any time I have is best invested in the MCAT prep (I agree too, to a certain extent).

    I just feel that I can still work only two days a week and still have ample time to study for MCAT.

    I am willing to quit work for that time, and my parents are willing to support me. It won't be as good as working of course, but I could still get by. However, I still would like to work since it'll be a nice change of pace, give me some monetary support, and some variety to an otherwise boring-looking summer.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. midwest_turtle

    midwest_turtle the patient chicken
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    my vote is for a minimal amount of work
     
  4. DrJ2B

    DrJ2B Senior Member
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    Definitely go for minimal work. I would not want to study for the MCAT every second. Work would help bring some sanity! ;)
     
  5. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    It depends. If you really think you would study every hour of every day then you should quit work completely. If you are more realistic in your goals, I'd say it's safe to work at least a couple days a week. I've always found that the busier I am the better I manage my time. So for me the more I work the better I study, i.e. I am forced to set aside a specific time which makes it hard to procrastinate.
    Plus you'll find that you need all the money you can get during the application process. Going into debt for med school application is a bad idea (especially credit card debt) this debt is not budgeted in your finaid package and you'll find it's hard enough to survive on what they give you without that extra burden.
     
  6. AWhitehair

    AWhitehair EM PA-C. MD wannabe
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    I think you should just cut back on your hours at work. If you completely quit your job to study for the MCAT it may look like you can't handle more than one thing at a time. Medical schools may think you won't be able to handle medical school. Especially if you are going to have an internshiip at a hospital during your time in medical school. Just my look on things. Good luck to you!

    AWhitehair
     
  7. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    I vote for getting rid of as much other stuff as possible, since you have the $ option.

    I quit nearly everything else and spent my whole summer last year on the MCAT. I taught an MCAT prep course, I volunteered 1 afternoon a week, and I shadowed 1 day every couple of weeks (I took every Friday off from MCAT studying). I took a week off for vacation in early July. I did really well on the MCAT, and it was absolutely the right thing for me to have done.

    Most students try to combine MCAT prep with too many other responsibilities. Dropping everything else makes it look like you are very, very serious about getting in to med school, and you are capable of focus and self-discipline for a sustained period.
     
  8. lizzylu

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    I also think you should just reduce your work-load. If you're just doing the MCAT it'll probably drive you crazy. And in the AMCAS (that you've done before) there would be a great big obvious gap if you didn't have any activities during the summer, and personally I don't think they look close enough at the app to consider "MCAT studying time" as a significant activity.

    Maybe strike a deal w/ your parents to reduce your workload to 1/2 time or something, and they pay for your living if you save all your summer $ for the application process again. Best of both worlds? :)
     
  9. DrPharaohX

    DrPharaohX Free...your...mind...
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    I was thinking something along those lines, but in their eyes this is really my last chance - third time MCAT - after this I retake MCAT. I actually have a combined score of 31 from both MCATs (PS dropped from 13 first time to 10 second time because I didn't focus on it like I did the other sections) so I KNOW I can do well, but it's still my last chance, and that's what worries them.

    I think the best thing to do is set a schedule for my studying, per the exam prep books and practice exams and if I see that I can fit work in there, then perhaps I can think in that direction.

    Tough times ahead.....first I need to finish this semester. If only I wasn't waitlisted :(
     
  10. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    I agree with what most have said - just reduce your workload. I took my MCATs in April, and I studied for them that spring semester. In addition to studying, I took 12 credits of fairly easy classes (only one science), worked about 10-12 hours a week, and volunteered another 5-8 a week. It was a nice break to go to the hospital or to work when I had been studying all day long.... the monotony of constant studying will get to you if that's all you do, and if you're anything like me, you'll do much better if you have something to break your time up with.

    Good luck!!!

    Btw, which school are you waitlisted at? Does it traditionally get a lot of waitlist movement?
     
  11. DrPharaohX

    DrPharaohX Free...your...mind...
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    USF....fortunately it IS known for good waitlist movement. It's just that I'm "very near" the middle of the waitlist, where they "quit taking people last year" (all quotes are from Dean of Admissions Dr. Larkin). Still I know SDNers who were in my position last year getting in. I just have to wait a while, 'till mid/late June.
     

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