Work as an Engineer or do Research during the year off?

Neha4000

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Hi all,

I am graduating in May, and taking a year off. I can either work as engineer (and make considerably more money) or work at the NIH next year. How imporant is it work in a medical field? I have lots of research experience already (2 years +, and a summer research project) with one publication, so I am debating just working as an engineer, but I don't want this to negatively affect my applciation.

Had anyone had any experience with this in the past?

Thanks
 

Mr. Plow

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I hate to sound like I'm waffling, but unfortunately the answer to your question probably depends on what school you apply to. Sounds like you have some research experience already, of which many programs consider a positive. If you know where you want to go, I'd try and contact that program and ask what they consider in a strong applicant, or even more so, contact a medical student at that program and ask them. I took a year off after college and worked before I got into medical school. I also had some solid research experiences prior to matriculation. Unfortunately, my medical school did not view research experience as much of importance (if not a strike against me). They were much more interested in health care experiences and dedication to the field of medicine. Knowing this, I spent at least one day per week volunteering in the field. I am fairly certain that if it were not for my volunteer experiences and the connections I made through them, I would not be where I am today. Best of luck. :)
 

midlifecrisis

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Doesn't sound like a year off to me, sounds like a year on. Do what you want to do...really, it'll show when you talk about it at interviews. Then target schools that appreciate the type of experience you have.
 
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sacrament

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Neha4000 said:
Hi all,

I am graduating in May, and taking a year off. I can either work as engineer (and make considerably more money) or work at the NIH next year. How imporant is it work in a medical field? I have lots of research experience already (2 years +, and a summer research project) with one publication, so I am debating just working as an engineer, but I don't want this to negatively affect my applciation.

Had anyone had any experience with this in the past?

Thanks
I worked as an engineer during my year off. Like you, I had research experience and decided to try something new--like actually doing that job I'd been training to do for six years (I got my MS in engineering too). It was a decent experience and I managed to save about 20K, which, although a mere fraction of my total med school expenses, does come in handy. And my interviewers loved it when I told them I was an R&D engineer at Intel; I got a lot of mileage out of that.
 

jlee9531

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work...make some money...do something outside of the field of medicine...

whatever you choose it wont hurt your chances of getting interviews/acceptances to med school.
 

tbo

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I think you certainly can't go wrong with either. My first inclination is to say go with the NIH--it's an organization that is extraordinarily regarded in the field. Some may say having an engineering job would differentiate your app, but I think either would (honestly, how many applicants have the NIH on their resume?) The NIH will get you far with research-oriented schools. The Engineering school gives you something more unique to talk about in your statement/interviews. If all else fails, go with the job that will be the most fulfilling, and have the people you click with the most.

Above all, being able to be satisfied after work and be able to really jive with your co-workers can make a huge difference. Good luck
 

BaseballFan

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Neha4000 said:
Hi all,

I am graduating in May, and taking a year off. I can either work as engineer (and make considerably more money) or work at the NIH next year. How imporant is it work in a medical field? I have lots of research experience already (2 years +, and a summer research project) with one publication, so I am debating just working as an engineer, but I don't want this to negatively affect my applciation.

Had anyone had any experience with this in the past?

Thanks
I worked as a research engineer for a year between college and med school.

I had no problem during my interviews. In fact, all of the interviewers saw it as a positive thing, and asked questions about my job in an interview.

If I were you, I'd take the job as an engineer, and keep the extra $$...then go on a nice vacation or travel before you start med school the next fall.

Good Luck!
 
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