In this episode, I answer a question from a nontraditional premed who is wondering what kind of jobs can be done during their gap years to help get them into medical school. I make two important points on the show today, which you shouldn’t miss out on!
The questions shared on this podcast are taken from our Nontraditional Premed Forum.
OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
The poster graduated in 2013 with a degree in BS Biological Sciences and Chemistry, with one year of research before graduating. The poster decided to become a physician, and they thought of taking a year off to volunteer, study for the MCAT, and get a paid research assistant position while applying to medical school.
It didn’t work out this way, as the poster took the pre-2015 MCAT on the last day the exam was offered and got an average score, paired with a GPA of 3.1. So the poster is applying to an academic enhancer postbac program this fall and spring while preparing to take the MCAT after the program ends.
Writing the personal statement is a challenge with only 6 months of volunteer experience at a clinic and 4 months of work experience as a medical assistant. The poster wants to know what other medical jobs or opportunities exist that will help with medical school admission—something that utilizes her biology and chemistry knowledge. What sort of jobs can you do with a bachelor’s degree that will help you get into medical school?What sort of jobs can you do with a bachelor's degree that will help you get into medical school?Click To Tweet
First: Don’t Give up Because of Your Stats
Scores are scores. So your 3.1 GPA is below average. The data that medical schools provide about the GPA and MCAT scores of their students are just averages. They are numbers derived from adding together all of the students’ MCAT scores and GPAs and dividing by the total number of students. So the 3.5 number that you’re looking at for a specific school actually includes 3.0’s and 3.1’s and 3.2’s and 3.3’s.
Don’t kill your chance of going to medical school by not applying, just because you don’t think you’re good enough. Let the medical schools tell you that you’re not good enough.
Not applying to medical school because you think you won’t get in is definitely not appropriate.Don't kill your chances of medical school by not applying, just because you don't think you're good enough. Let the medical schools tell you that you're not good enough.Click To Tweet
Gap Year Jobs to Help You Get into Medical School?
Don’t look for a job that you think will help you get into medical school. Don’t do anything in life because you think will help you get into medical school. There are no checkboxes to get into medical school. You have to do what you are passionate about.There are no checkboxes to get into medical school. You have to do what you are passionate about.Click To Tweet
Research Jobs for a Premed Gap Year
It’s hard to find research positions at a university as a non-student, so keep on trying. You need to go out and find those relationships with people who will help you get your foot in the door into possible research opportunities.
Research is great if that’s where your heart is at. It may help you with medical school applications if you’re looking to apply to a research-heavy institution.Taking a research job in your gap year may help you with medical school applications if you're looking to apply to a research-heavy institution.Click To Tweet
Scribing and Other Gap Year Jobs
Consider being a scribe during your gap year:
- It’s an amazing job for gaining the experience of what it’s like as a physician working in patient care.
- Being a scribe is one of the best clinical experiences you can get, which increases your chances of getting into medical school.
Another podcast episode you should listen to for more ideas that give you paid clinical experience is “What Kind of Job Should I Get Before Applying to Medical School?” That episode talks about being an EMT and medical assistant, among others.
Follow Your Passion in Your Gap Year
Don’t ask what job will help you get into medical school. Instead, ask yourself what you’re interested in doing. Because your passion (or lack of passion) will show during your medical school interviews. Whether you’re passionate about something or not will always come through.Pursue jobs and extracurriculars that interest you. Your passion (or lack of passion) will always show during your medical school interviews.Click To Tweet
And don’t give up on applying just because you think you’re scores aren’t good enough. Score and stats are just one part of the application. For more on this, listen to “Your MCAT and GPA Don’t Matter as Much as You Think They Do.”
Links and Other Resources:
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: What Is the Best Paid Clinical Experience for Med School?
- Related episode: What Kind of Job Should I Get Before Applying to Medical School?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Next Step Test Prep!
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