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Working while in med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by AMEHigh, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. AMEHigh

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    Does anyone plan to work while in school? Does anyone have friends or family members that do this?

    My husband met a server at a local restaurant that was in med school. She said it wasn't too bad to work a few days a week. I'm not sure if she was a 1st or 2nd year. I know that the med school she goes to they typically only have class from 9-12, then the occassional lab in the afternoons, but not everyday.

    Luckily, I have my husband that can help take care of bills, but I would love to not have to take out so many loans. Am I crazy for considering a very part time job while in school?
     
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  3. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    yes. you're crazy.

    But seriously, it depends VERY much on the type of student you are. And on how your school is structured. UNE has plenty of classes, but you needed to spend plenty of extra hours in lab to do well in courses like anatomy, histology, etc. Most students are working their butts off just to do well in school and working is out of the question unless someone is paying you to study. Some students have time to work a VERY part-time job. Most do not. If you're a student who doesn't go to class and still does very well, you'll have more time. If you're a student who learns best by going to class, you'll have less time.
     
  4. slim78

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    No you can't have a part time job. It will not work. No one does this. The server was either not really in med-school, on some kind of break, or lying.

    There are work study programs where you basically get extra aid money to do really easy jobs that involve either sitting around getting paid to study, or being the person who turns the projector on during class.

    Don't even think about getting a "real" job.


    Now someone is going to post some crazy exception and say "Well I had an uncle..." or "Well I know this girl..." There are always exceptions. In my class of 250 I know of no one that has a job.
     
  5. theraball

    theraball Panned
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    Agreed, it's simply not possible. Well, there are a few MS2's who are teaching assistants 3 hours a week, that sort of thing. But working several shifts a week in a restaurant? Simply not possible except for a genius. And what genius would be moonlighting in a restaurant? They'd be in a lab.

    Then there was Izzy Stevens who did modeling to pay her way through med school, but in TV-land anything's possible :)
     
  6. engineeredout

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    Maybe for her Med School = nursing school = EMT classes = CPR certification?
     
  7. slim78

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    I had a friend who was moving away to start nursing school. Turns out he told everyone he was going to start med school. I thought it was funny.
     
  8. Daedalus

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    A friend of mine worked as an EMT on an ambulance for the first two years of med school. Not sure how he pulled it off - maybe cause there's a lot of down time to study.
     
  9. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member
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    Please. I know plenty of PAs who pull a few shifts/month in the ED or urgent care while in med school. The trick is to not have a regular job, but a flexible one. When you have a marketable skill (and a license) that pays well, it's hard to not work a LITTLE just to not feel sooooo poor. I would be hard-pressed to not work at all, at least the first 2 years when my schedule was somewhat predictable.
    My ER director was an RT when he was in med school, and he worked every Friday-Saturday night. Yes, he did it out of necessity, to pay the bills, and he still did well, and got a good residency. It's all about wants vs. needs and time management skills. And, oh yeah, how much of a social life one needs outside of school.
     
  10. nlax30

    nlax30 Fellow
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    I'd say it's possibly doable, but not that common. Like what someone already said, it's going to depend on you as a student and your school's curriculum.

    I would say only a handful of students in our class attempted some sort of work throughout the year. A few help out in the library, so it's basically built-in study time for them. Others worked over the summer. I know someone last year tutored at a local school.

    In any case I'd wait until you get a little time under your belt so you get a feel for how well you're doing and then possibly try some work if you are able to.
     
  11. nascardoc

    nascardoc Daddy to 2 kiddos
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    We have a student at DCOM who is an EMT who works during breaks, but that is it. It is not every weekend or anything like that. If we have anything more than a 4-day break, he may use a day to work on the ambulance, but it is usually only during fall, Christmas, and spring breaks. Other than those times, it is nearly impossible to work, and even if you did, the amount of money you would make wouldn't make a dent in any bills and you'd be taking away precious time, which is much more important than an extra couple bucks per week.
     
  12. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    no thanks ma'am.
     
  13. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    No no no, you've got it all wrong. They were attended homeopathic medical school. There's one down the street from where I live, it looks like it used to be a diner. :laugh:
     
  14. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    A girl I knew used to work during first year, but then she got really stressed, ill, quit working, and began doing poorly in her classes.

    I do know of a couple people who successfully worked during school, but only because they were really really smart and didn't feel the need to use their precious free time to "relax" or "socialize."
     
  15. scpod

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    I taught Anatomy and Physiology classes at a nursing school five nights a week (5:30 to 10:30) the first two years. I made about 25 grand a year doing that. I slept maybe four hours a night M-F and was exhausted most times. I had virtually no outside life... but it's possible. I wouldn't recommend it, though.
     
  16. theraball

    theraball Panned
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    You've got to be kidding. Did you do that during the anatomy block?
     
  17. Vee

    Vee
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    I still work as an EMT but really only over breaks these days.
     
  18. scpod

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    No, actually I didn't start until anatomy was over. Those 10 weeks were pretty brutal. :)
     
  19. brucecanbeatyou

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    Yeah, I love how I tell people that I'm going to medical school next year and they ask, "what kind of medical school, like nursing or PA, or medical medical school?"
     
  20. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    I just avoid telling people I'm going to medical school all together. Lord only knows how many people I've talked to that ask what specialities I'm interested in and when radiology comes up they say "Oh, my good friend went to school for that and is a radiologist.". "Where did he/she go to medical school." "She was really smart and did it in 4 years of undergrad!"......"Uh. Right" (I stopped correcting. Opens up a whole can of worms.

    The only people with real jobs I've heard were very very motivated OR had a sweet cushy gig. Also, not fair to say that being a genius means you'd be in the lab. I know a guy that somehow managed to bartend at a high-end place a couple of nights a week. He was a damn genius and made serious cash bartending. We're talking like 40k. It was very high end. One of those places where the cheap drink is still 15 bucks.
     
  21. ILikeFood

    ILikeFood NSU Class of 2013
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    I'm spending my free time sleeping.
     
  22. DiverDoc

    DiverDoc KCUMB 2012
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    Ill cast my vote and say its almost impossible. A human being can only take so much. Everything in moderation right. Well, In medical school you have to make time for yourself to relax, pay bills clean the house etc.... But other than that, you are in class or studying or sleeping to start the cycle over again. I cannot fathom working even part time while in medical school. No offense, but people just dont quite understand what its like.
     
  23. 24IdaFire

    24IdaFire Member
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    I worked part time as a paramedic during second year. We did have a lot of down time, so I was able to get quite a bit of studying done while at work.
     
  24. tdittyx2x3

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    If you don't have external commitments, ie: a family, I don't really understand why you'd make yourself work outside of school. Debt is debt, you can only make so much in such little time, and someday you will have the money to cover it anyway.

    We are going to be working forever people, why make an already challenging period in life harder on ourselves?
     
  25. dazed1980

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    i plan to work two shifts a month during year 1 and/or two in the ER.
     
  26. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    I totally agree.

    You've all obviously worked very hard to get to where you are already. Don't you think you deserve at least SOME free time? Don't go overboard here.
     
  27. Premed Worrier

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    i concur. besides the two stories we have on here, which are obvious exceptions, i can't see where you are going to make enough money for a noticably smaller debt when you get out.
     
  28. tdittyx2x3

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    Unless "working" is something you enjoy anyway, than I suppose it doesn't matter.. For instance, I have a friend who plays the saxophone (very well) on a street corner and he makes about $300 on a Friday/Saturday night doing what he loves.
     
  29. andexterouss

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    Your experience is right on. I use to think telling someone that you are going to med school meant they understood it to mean becoming a doctor(MD/DO). Now every nursing student and PA student tells everyone that they are in med school. It gives them some prestige but makes it harder for us to explain to friends and family how different we are from them. For example, my mom recommended that I speak to a friend of hers that went med school so that he can show me the ropes and get some advice. Five minutes into my conversion with this guy, I quickly realized that he was a doctor of acupunture and I respectfully but promptly ended the conversion. My mom asked me how it went and I told her his "med school" is vastly different from mine. "But he's a doctor", my mom said.I almost wanted to cut my tongue trying to explain to her that he's not a "doctor" in the medical sense.

    Oh and don't get me started on the radiology encounter either.:smuggrin:
     
  30. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member
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    Sorry you've had this experience, but please don't generalize. I certainly NEVER told folks I was in medical school when I was a PA student. It was aggravating to explain over and over and over what a PA was, and what I was learning, and what I was going to do after I graduated, but it was good practice since 10 years later I'm still explaining what a PA is, and what we learn, and what we do....


     
  31. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    pacmatt and bandit both worked 24 hrs/week as em pa's while in medschool.
    pacmatt graduated second in his class and killed the boards(both usmle and comlex) and got his first choice em residency....it can be done....
     
  32. andexterouss

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    I wasn't trying to accuse all PAs/nursing students of acting as such. I was only trying to make a point about how common it's been in my experience. I guess a literal reading of my post will back your interpretation. My apologies.

    I also admire your persistence in defending your profession(some would have given in to cynicism). I can't wait till I start explaining what a DO is to family and friends!:xf:
     
  33. theraball

    theraball Panned
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    Do you know this for a fact or did you read it on a premed chatboard? Sounds like an SDN legend. For most people who are in medical school (I mean MD/DO school, now :) ) this kind of lifestyle would be crazy if not downright impossible. Medical school is all-consuming. Were your friends working right through boards? Through block finals? During clinicals? I wish it were not this way, but it is. The exception does not prove the rule. :mad:
     
  34. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    There was a PA in my class. She had a considerably easier time in med school classes than the rest of us. I can see PA's working through the didactic period of school. But the rest of us? Not likely.

    Now working through rotations... depends on your rotation schedule. Through psych? oh, yeah. Through int med? no way (at least through my rotation schedule).
     
  35. TexasTriathlete

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    A buddy of mine worked as a paramedic through at least his first two years as a med student at UT-San Antonio. He didn't work a lot, but he got out there on the weekend every now and then. Said it was theraputic. As far as I know, he did fine in school. He's 3rd-year now, and I haven't talked to him in a few months. Doubt he's still doing it during rotations, but he may be like PRN or something.

    A guy offered me a job as a bartender not long ago (I have six years experience under my belt). I met him at the Texas alumni game-watching parties, and he runs some bar here in Atlanta. I didn't do it, but I probably could have made it work if I had to. On a VERY limited basis. Like one night a week.

    But unless you get a really good gig, you probably won't have time to make enough money to make it worth your while. And there aren't many jobs where they'll be willing to work around your ridiculous schedule.
     
  36. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member
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    Fact. Both E and I know these guys personally and have had multiple off-SDN convos with them.

    Medical school does not need to be all-consuming; to say it must be so is to insult all the mothers and fathers who continue to be mothers and fathers while they go to med school (I'm sure Shy has a strong opinion on this). It is certainly a full-time job, but when you're used to 2 full-time jobs...it can be done.

    Remember I said flexible schedule? That means you work when you can work, around your test schedules, most likely not around finals and block exams. The way I see it is 1st & 2nd year I could work (some), probably would not choose to work more than 1 shift/week, but that's $2k/month that I don't have to take out loans. Nothing to sneeze at. 3rd & 4th years would be nigh impossible because you're already "working" full-time in rotations...but breaks could be worked, although by the time break came around I think I would be wanting a BREAK.

    :laugh:

     
  37. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    if you can work long shifts and/or have the option of working nights it can be done.
    I recently worked with an empa who was a 3rd yr medstudent. he worked a few eight hr shifts/week per diem in the er on weekends and on days he got out of clinic by 5 pm.
    it's amazing how much free time you really have if you take out watching tv, going out to movies, playing video games, surfing the net, etc and are willing to get by on 5-6 hrs of sleep/night.
    a few yrs ago I was working 2 full time jobs and taking physics with labs at a local college(and got an A all 3 quarters). it's all about time management. you have to plan out every hr of every day if you want to do something like that. a close friend of mine does this all the time and has for yrs. guy works around 300 hrs/mo and has a family and serves in the guard....his idea of "free time" is an hr or 2 off between jobs to watch his kids play t-ball. he frequently works 16-20 hr days.
     
    #36 emedpa, Dec 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008

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