If you're wondering which premed gap year jobs you should pursue, you've come to the right place. Many non traditional medical school applicants see the value of taking a gap year before medical school while some students who faced medical school rejection find themselves unintentionally taking a gap year. Regardless of how you first arrived at a gap year, you must use your time wisely. This blog will provide you with 9 premed gap year jobs that can help you improve your application and increase your chances of acceptance.
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9 Best Premed Gap Year Jobs
Plenty of students choose to take a gap year before medical school. Whatever your reason for taking a break before starting the medical school application process, getting a premed gap year job is an excellent idea. For one, you’ll be gaining invaluable work experience and adding to your medical school resume. Second, solid premed clinical or research experience is one of the best ways to strengthen your medical school application and boost your chances of acceptance. Medical school acceptance rates are becoming increasingly competitive, so coming in with a stellar resume can help you stand out from the crowd.
Here are the 9 best premed gap year jobs to increase your chances of acceptance to medical school.
1. BeMo Premed Student Ambassador
Are you looking for a fully remote, flexible part-time position where you can make a difference? Consider joining BeMo as a premed student brand ambassador. As a premed ambassador, you can help us make a difference for students just like you by sharing our mission to help students achieve their academic and professional goals. You’ll also gain experience working with a dynamic team of professionals, learn more about the university admissions process, and help us promote diversity in higher education.
2. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants are trained to assist physicians with both administrative and clinical tasks, so it is one of the best premed jobs you can find to introduce yourself to the medical profession. Essentially, they work to make doctors’ lives easier by handling administrative tasks, preparing patients for examination, scheduling appointments, arranging basic tests, drawing blood, and overseeing patient records. Medical assistants often work in offices, clinics, and hospitals and have the benefit of interacting with both patients and doctors. While not all employers expect medical assistants to be certified, many do, and if not required, certified medical assistants are often preferred. Certification is available through the CMA American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) which requires the completion of an accredited post-secondary medical assistant program as well as the CMA AAMA Certification Exam. On average, it takes between nine months to two years to become a medical assistant. Jobs that do not require certification may have lower patient interaction and less varied responsibilities or may require certification at a later date.
Not sure where to start your premed job search? Check out some of the best companies for premeds!
3.Emergency Medical Technician
Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a rewarding experience that allows you to gain hands-on experience as a healthcare provider. You’ll be part of the emergency team responding to 911 calls, which means you’ll have the opportunity to perform medical exams and respond to a variety of calls from minor complaints, such as sprains and bruises, to life-threatening issues such as cardiac arrests or serious wounds. A unique benefit of working as an EMT is that you’ll have the chance to interact with other health professions including firefighters, police officers, nurses, and physicians. You’ll also gain skills necessary to become an effective physician such as collaboration, stress tolerance, and the ability to work effectively under pressure. There are different levels of qualification in order to become an EMT. The Basic EMT (EMT-B) is an entry-level position that typically requires between one to four months of training. The next level is the Intermediate or Enhanced EMT (EMT-I) which requires basic EMT training in addition to field experience. The most advanced EMT is the Paramedic (EMT-P) which requires a significant amount of experience in the field, along with at least 700 hours of training. It’s important to note that becoming an EMT can be quite expensive, usually between $500-$1000 to become a basic EMT, and this doesn’t include the certification or testing costs. However, some employers or universities will cover the cost if you arrange to work or volunteer with them after your training.
4. Research Assistant
A recent survey by the AAMC found that 46.1% of medical school applicants spent their gap year in a job in research. Unlike clinical experience, which every applicant will have, not all applicants have research experience. Other than improving your knowledge in a particular field and testing hypotheses, research experience can help set you apart from other candidates. Research experience shows admissions committees that you have a curiosity for the unknown and are determined to understand the mechanisms behind disease or the answers to problems. This will, of course, translate into medicine when it comes to discoveries and finding treatments and cures for illnesses and diseases. In addition, if you’re lucky enough to contribute to one or two published works, this can also help boost your admissions odds, as not all candidates have this type of experience. While research is not generally required at most medical schools, many schools highly value research experience and some schools are heavily research-based, so working as a research assistant can be extremely beneficial. As a quick note, if you’re applying to joint MD-PhD programs, research experience is an absolute must.
Would you rather watch a video? Here are the best premed gap year jobs:
5. Medical Scribe
Medical scribes are valuable individuals responsible for taking notes during physician-patient interviews, documenting physician dictated notes, keeping track of lab records, and maintaining patient records. As a scribe, you’ll have the opportunity to learn medical terminology, how to chart, and to see how healthcare is practiced in the flesh. You don’t generally need any experience beforehand to become a medical scribe as there is full training provided by your employer once hired. Another benefit of working as a medical scribe is that you’ll be working directly with a physician which will serve as a great opportunity to form strong connections and secure valuable letters of recommendation.
6. Certified Nursing Assistant
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a great position to consider which will allow you to work in a clinical setting and gain hands-on experience. You’ll work under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse to help patients with daily activities such as bathing and feeding. In addition, you'll attend to other duties to assist nurses such as helping with medical procedures and cleaning rooms. Nursing assistants are most often found in long term care facilities and rehabilitation centers but they can also work in inpatient hospital settings. Working as a nursing assistant allows for patient interaction and the development of a variety of desirable skills such as communication, empathy, and compassion. Nursing assistants often have flexibility in their schedules which may allow you to pursue classes or other extracurricular activities at the same time. It’s important to note that the certification of nursing assistants is not standardized. Instead, certification is issued by state after the completion of a training program, usually between 1-3 months, and a state certification exam.
Working as a phlebotomist is a great way to get some hands-on clinical exposure and more one-on-one experience with patients. As a phlebotomist you’ll primarily be drawing blood from patients, but you’ll also develop your patient communication skills as you walk them through the procedure or manage anxiety. Many positions will require that you complete a certification course or licensure exam beforehand, so check the specific job requirements wherever you apply. Some of these positions also offer on-the-job-training or course training to get you started as well. Clinical experience is a good bonus to have on your med school application, and working as a phlebotomist will give you experience working with patients, which also looks good to admissions committees. While not every school will consider phlebotomy to be the best clinical experience a premed can have, it’s certainly one of the more common options for premeds.
8. Community Innovator/Developer
For your pre-med checklist, you should have a certain amount of clinical, volunteer, and research experiences. Participating in positions that allow you to take on leadership roles, however, is a way to stand out from other candidates. One way to do this is to identify a specific deficit in your community and come up with an innovative solution to help fix it. For example, if you were working in an assisted living center, you could set up your own wellness program such as art workshops, or even exercise classes. Your project could be anything as long as it is meaningful to you and helps to improve the lives of members of your community. This will ultimately do wonders for contributing to your pre-med school identity by showing that you can solve problems, and make a positive, selfless change in your community.
9. Nonprofits/Humanitarian Aid
As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Working with a non-profit organization gives you a chance to break the mold and leave a mark on something that is really begging for a mark to be left. There are so many opportunities out there that you are bound to get a great experience from and will highlight that you are going into medical school for the right reason: To help others. Possible enterprises include fighting poverty, supporting disaster response, and mentoring youth. It’s always a great way to tally up some volunteer hours for medical school and demonstrate you possess the core competencies admission committees are searching for.
How Premed Jobs Help You Get Accepted
Finding a premed job during your gap year can have several key benefits. If you previously applied to medical school and were rejected, premed job experience can help you fill in those gaps in your application and make the most of a gap year. If you decided to take a gap year to gain clinical or research experience, a premed job is the fastest and best way to do so. But having a premed job is also your ticket to developing the personal qualities and professional skills medical schools are looking for in their stand-out applicants. Listen to some of the best podcasts for premeds to start learning what medical schools are looking for and what you need to know to get accepted.
Here are a few ways getting a premed job during your gap year can help you get accepted to medical school:
Are you a reapplicant? Here's how to address a gap year or setbacks in your medical school application:
How to Land a Premed Gap Year Job
To land a premed gap year job, you’ll need the same 3 things as you would for any other job application:
1. A stand-out resume
Your resume reflects your experiences and qualifications. For a premed job, it should outline your interest in healthcare specifically and any experience, accomplishments or previous healthcare experience you have. For example, if you completed any health-related research as an undergraduate or attended any notable conferences, if you participated in any premed clubs or organized health-related community events or educational presentations. If you had a previous premed job in healthcare, definitely list your role and responsibilities at the top!
2. A strong cover letter
Your cover letter is your way of securing an interview for a premed job. Just like a research assistant cover letter, a job application cover letter should convey why you are applying, what qualifications you have and why you would be a good fit for the position.
3. Excellent interviewing skills
Preparing for a premed job interview is also good medical school interview preparation, so it’s a great idea to start developing this skillset now. Not only will it help you land a great premed position, but it will also pay off later when you start interviewing for medical school admissions.
One of the best ways to prepare for any interview is to use mock interviews. Ask a friend, tutor or mentor to act as your mock interviewer and practice your interview performance and answer delivery. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become and the stronger your interview will be. For this, you can consider hiring a medical school interview tutor to give you feedback and advice on your interview answers, too.
How to Choose the Best Premed Gap Year Job For You
When choosing your premed gap year job, it’s essential to select a position based on your interests, passions, and weak areas in your medical school application. For example, perhaps you struggled filling out your AMCAS work and activities section, medical school secondary essays, or even had a hard time constructing your medical school personal statement – all because you were lacking critical experiences.
It’s not about picking a job that your family and friends think would be great, nor is it about picking a job based on what you think the admissions committees want to see. It can be counterproductive to keep plugging away at something that you’re just not motivated to do because it’s not your strength. Obviously, do not avoid challenges, but know when to work with what you’ve got. Remember, this time is about self-development which holds a different meaning for every individual. Admissions committees will want to understand why you do the things you do and why you find them significant.
Overall, it’s important to pick what you want to do and what will benefit your individual application the most. Now, I’m not saying that you should become a bartender because you like mixing drinks, I’m talking about picking an experience that you want to do that will help you in your journey towards medicine. Think about the following questions:
- Is your application missing critical extracurriculars for medical school?
- Are you lacking strong medical school recommendation letters?
- Are you missing premed research opportunities?
- Have you satisfied all medical school requirements?
- Next, you need to think about where your interests and motivations lie. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at doing? What will help you achieve your short and long-term goals? What will help you become a better person and a better doctor?
When considering which environment you should choose for your premed job, it’s important to think about what type of patient population you hope to work with in the future. For example, if you have an interest in geriatrics, then consider working or volunteering in a nursing home, hospice or palliative care center. If, on the other hand, you’re interested in emergency medicine, then working in the back of an ambulance or in the emergency department is most suitable.
Here are the factors you need to consider when choosing the best premed gap year job for you:
Are you a medical school reapplicant? Here's how we helped one of our reapplicant students get accepted!
1. What are the best premed gap year jobs?
Some of the best premed gap year jobs include positions where you can gain valuable clinical experience in medicine, such as a medical scribe or certified nursing assistant. Community volunteering or volunteer positions are also great jobs to pursue to beef up your extracurriculars for med school.
2. Should I get a gap year job as a premed?
Absolutely. Your gap year is a perfect time to get some experience and help increase your chances of getting into medical school later. You can also take this time to study for the MCAT or engage in some extracurricular activities.
3. How do I choose the right premed gap year job?
You should choose a premed job based on your interests, strengths and the available premed jobs in your area. You can also consider what gaps you might have in your application and how much training your chosen job requires before you commit.
4. Do I need a certification for premed gap year jobs?
Some jobs do require some certification or training before you can start. Some premed josb will offer this training and others won’t, so be sure to check what certifications you’ll need before you start, as well as any costs associated with training.
5. Are premed gap year jobs paid?
Not all premed jobs are paid, but most are. Depending on the position, the pay range will vary. If you’re looking for a paid premed gap year job, check job sites and salary notices.
6. How do I find premed gap year jobs?
You can find premed gap year jobs by searching job sites, job boards, asking teachers or faculty members for recommendations, or through networking.
7. How do you get a premed gap year job?
To land a premed gap year job takes the same skills as getting any job. You’ll need a good resume, a strong cover letter and excellent interview skills. Practicing your interviewing skills now will not only help you land a job but also prepare you for med school interviews down the road.
8. Does my premed gap year job have to be related to medicine?
Not necessarily, but getting a premed job is an excellent way to get some experience in the field and boost your med school application stats a bit. While non-medical premed jobs can certainly be an asset on your resume, it’s better to find one at least somewhat related to medicine.
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