Gap Year Pre Med Jobs

August 17

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You have made the decision to take a year off. Or you are still evaluating your choices. But how can you choose the best possibilities for you, and what are the optimal occupations for a gap year in medical school?

Your preference for a gap year employment relies on why you are delaying your medical school application for a year. 

Your gap year employment will be less significant if you plan to travel and discover the world during that year. Though it will not be the primary goal of your gap year, you may acquire a few other experiences that you might include in your application.

On the other hand, if you are using your gap year to strengthen your application, you need to carefully decide which positions and life experiences will mean the most to you and do so while also improving it.

If you are curious about gap year pre-med jobs that will strengthen your application, this article is for you.

Table of Contents

What is a Gap Year Pre-Med Job?

A "gap year" is the time between receiving your undergraduate degree and beginning medical school. Depending on the individual circumstances of each person, a gap year may last a year or more.

A gap year may be used to reduce debt or as a vacation. However, one can also use it to increase their GPA, gain additional experience related to medicine, or raise their MCAT results. Some candidates for medical school who take a year out might have to re-apply.

Pre-med students frequently take a year off before starting medical school. Nearly 50% of premed students in a recent AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) research took a gap year after finishing their undergraduate studies. 

The ideal time to gain job experience in a healthcare environment is during a gap year. Your preference for a gap year employment relies on why you are delaying your medical school application for a year.

Your gap year employment will be less significant if you plan to travel and discover the world during that year. Though it will not be the primary goal of your gap year, you may acquire a few other experiences that you might include in your application.

What are the Benefits of Getting a Gap Year Pre-Med Job?

During your gap year, securing pre-med employment can have several significant advantages. Pre-medical work experience can help you make the most of a gap year if you have previously gone to medical school but were turned down.

Pre-medical employment is the quickest and best option to get clinical or research experience if you take a gap year. 

However, pre-med employment is also your route to acquiring the character traits and professional abilities medical schools want in its standout applications.

1. Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs Help Develop Your AAMC Core Competencies

Medical schools use the AAMC's core competencies framework to assess applicants and decide whether they possess the traits of outstanding physicians. You will inevitably acquire these traits from your encounters if you work a pre-med career. As a working pre-med, you can particularly hone your communication, ethical responsibility, capacity for improvement, and cultural competence skills.

2. Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs Enhance Your Healthcare Experience

Many medical schools demand that you have hours of clinical experience or experience shadowing. You can build a strong foundation for your future career by working in a healthcare position requiring only a minimum certification or no medical degree.

Additionally, you demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are passionate about and have a basic understanding of healthcare, can interact with patients, and have made steps to prepare for the demands of medical school.

3. Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs Help You Grow Personally and Professionally

Any work or volunteer experience will benefit you as a pre-med student. It encourages you to exhibit professionalism, maturity, compassion, ethical responsibility, and teamwork, which helps you build your abilities as a future doctor and allows you to grow personally and professionally.

Both studying for the MCAT and working as a doctor are taxing endeavors. Immersing yourself in a healthcare job is the first step in preparing for these issues in the future.

4. Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs Bridge Gaps in Your Application

Last but not least, pre-medical gap year work can strengthen your application. Pre-med gap year employment can enhance your candidate profile and help you stand out from thousands of other applicants, regardless of whether you are a repeat applicant, a mature applicant, or took some time off to gather experience.

How to Choose the Right Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs for You?

You should consider your application and what is missing to pick the best pre-med gap year job. Consider filling any gaps in your clinical experience, research experience, or volunteer work before moving on to other endeavors. 

You should also pursue your interests and passions and do what you find enjoyable. The best career for you would be as a medical assistant if you like working with people and want to engage with patients more. Find a profession in research if you enjoy analytical and critical thinking and learning about current issues.

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right gap year pre-med jobs for you:

1. Prepare Yourself for the Year Ahead

  • What inspired you to take a gap year?
  • Was it your goal to enhance a particular component of your application?
  • Did you take a gap year because you knew you could not submit your application on time or promptly?

If this is the case, you can use the extra time to learn more and improve your application, but keep your end goal in mind.

Avoid overcommitting to extracurricular activities and other occupations during your gap year so you cannot finish your application in time for the upcoming med school application cycle.

2. Know and Focus on Your Weaknesses

Your current experience level and application gaps will determine the best gap year job for you.

Consider becoming a medical scribe without direct patient observation or clinical experience. 

Consider becoming an EMT if you want to gain practical clinical experience but have prior experience observing doctors. Consider a position that focuses on research if you do not have any previous research experience.

All are excellent choices, but choosing the one that will make you a more well-rounded candidate is best. Consider what will best complement your application and highlight your areas of weakness when applying for gap year jobs.

3. Beware of Diminishing Returns

Eventually, adding more hours to a specific experience will not provide you much of a return. A few hundred more of the same hours will not make much of a difference to admissions committees if you already have significant experience in a particular field.

For instance, if you already have 2,000 hours of scribing expertise, adding 500 hours will not have the same impact as adding hours to another area or moving that time to another location.

You would be better off using that time to look for another job, improve your application, volunteer, etc.

4. Identify What Interests You

Finally, sitting back and thinking about your interests is critical.

  • Which branch of medicine most interests you?
  • Which area of treatment have you always envisioned yourself working in?
  • Do you prefer fast-paced work that varies daily or a more systematic educational experience?

Naturally, keep your application in mind at all times. In most circumstances, following your passions will have more rewards, but if you don't have much expertise in a particular field, make sure you gain some. You are much more inclined to go above and above at work when you are engaged in it.

People around you will notice your enthusiasm and extra effort, which may result in powerful letters of recommendation.

Furthermore, the following inquiries will assist you in picking the best pre-med gap year job:

  • What do I like to do?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • In what environment do I wish to work?
  • What are my advantages and disadvantages?
  • What profession will enable me to improve as a person?
  • What position will enhance my ability to practice medicine?
  • What essential experiences am I lacking in my application?
  • What criteria must I meet to be admitted to a medical school?
  • Have I received letters of recommendation that are strong?
  • In the future, what patient populations do I intend to work with?
  • What profession fits my objectives as a healthcare professional?
  • Which employment will allow me to expand upon and gain new skill sets?

What are the Different Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs?

Many students decide to take a year off before attending medical school. Getting a pre-med gap year job is a great option, no matter why you want to take a vacation before beginning the application process for medical school.

For one thing, you will be building up your medical school résumé and acquiring priceless professional experience. Second, one of the best strategies to improve your medical school application and increase your chances of med-school admittance is to gain pre-medical solid clinical or research experience.

Because medical school acceptance rates are becoming more competitive, having a strong resume might help you stand out. 

The following list of the top gap year pre-med jobs that will improve your chances of getting into medical school.

1. Medical Assistant

Average Income: USD 39,416

Working as a medical assistant is one of the best pre-med jobs you can discover. They are prepared to help doctors with both clinical and administrative chores. They mostly do administrative activities, prepare patients for examinations, schedule appointments, organize simple tests, take blood, and manage patient data to make the lives of doctors easier.

With the advantage of dealing with patients and doctors, medical assistants frequently work in offices, clinics, and hospitals. Although not all jobs require certification, many do, and if not, certified medical assistants are commonly preferred.

The American Association of Medical Assistants offers certification; to qualify, candidates must pass the CMA AAMA Certification Exam and complete a recognized post-secondary medical assistant school. The typical time to become a medical assistant is nine months and two years. Jobs that do not call for certification can have fewer patient interactions, less diverse tasks, or call for certification along the road.

How to Be a Medical Assistant:

Both job portals and the websites of hospitals and clinics provide listings for these positions.

Potential Employers for a Medical Assistant:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Physician offices
  • Outpatients clinics
  • Medical research centers

2. Emergency Medical Technician

Average Income: USD 36,880

Developing your skills as a healthcare provider through becoming an Emergency Medical Technician is a rewarding experience. Being a member of the emergency team that responds to 911 calls will allow you to conduct medical examinations and react to a range of rings, from minor complaints like sprains and bruises to life-threatening situations like cardiac arrests or severe wounds.

Being an EMT allows you to engage with people in other health-related professions, such as firefighters, police officers, nurses, and doctors. 


Additionally, you will learn the abilities you need to work well with others, cope well under stress, and become an excellent doctor.

To become an EMT, you must meet a variety of requirements. The average length of training for the Basic EMT (EMT-B), an entry-level post, is one to four months. 

The Intermediate or Enhanced EMT (EMT-I) is the next level and calls for field experience and basic EMT training. The Paramedic (EMT-P) is the most experienced EMT and needs at least 700 hours of training and practical experience.

How to Be an Emergency Medical Technician:

You must complete a course that lasts at least 154 hours to qualify for an essential EMT position. 

Colleges are an excellent place to gain volunteer experience as an EMT, and your local EMT group may be able to help you find employment. 

You would require 700 hours of training and a large amount of experience to become a fully qualified paramedic. It will look fantastic on your application if you enjoy doing it and have the time to do it.

Potential Employers for an Emergency Medical Technician:

  • National parks
  • Fire departments
  • Local EMT organizations
  • Private ambulatory services

3. Research Assistant

Average Income: USD 227,302

Contrary to clinical experience, which every applicant will have, research experience is uncommon among applicants. 

Research experience can help you stand out, enhance your expertise in a specific sector, and test hypotheses. The fact that you have research experience demonstrates to admissions committees your desire to study the causes of illness or the solutions to problems.

Naturally, this will impact medicine as discoveries are made and new illnesses and diseases are treated and cured. 

Additionally, given that not all applicants have this kind of experience, if you are fortunate enough to contribute to one or two published works, this can also improve your admissions probabilities. 

Although most medical schools do not typically require research, many schools greatly appreciate research expertise, and certain schools significantly rely on research. 

Therefore, working as a research assistant can be pretty advantageous. Research experience is a requirement if you are applying to a joint MD-PhD program.

How to Become a Research Assistant:

Networking is the best method for obtaining a research position. Ensure you develop relationships with your teachers, academic advisors, and career counselors as a student.

Additionally, look into local colleges and medical facilities to see if they are hiring for lab assistant or technician roles. They typically offer employment openings on their websites, but it doesn't hurt to email and ask. 

Lastly, many colleges, research organizations, and medical facilities offer summer research internship programs.

Potential Employers for a Research Assistant:

4. Medical Scribe

Average Income: USD 37,942

Medical scribes are essential people who record notes from doctor-patient interviews; record notes that doctors dictate, track test results, and manage patient records. 

As a scribe, you will have the chance to learn medical jargon how to document, and observe actual medical procedures.

In general, you do not need any prior experience to work as a medical scribe because, once employed, your employer will give you thorough training. Working directly with a doctor while working as a medical scribe is another advantage, and this will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to establish lasting relationships and obtain essential letters of recommendation.

How to Become a Medical Scribe:

Although there are no formal educational requirements for this position, it assists in having some volunteer experience, participation in professional associations, and generally showing a grasp of the medical industry. 

Hospitals, emergency rooms, and other medical facilities all have positions available.

Potential Employers for a Medical Scribe:

5. Certified Nursing Assistant

Average Income: USD 35,369

Consider a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career, enabling you to work in a clinical environment and obtain practical experience. To assist patients with daily tasks like feeding and washing, you will work directly under the direction of a registered nurse.

In addition, you will take care of other nursing assistant tasks, including room cleaning and assisting with medical treatments. 

Although they can work in inpatient hospital settings, long-term care homes and rehabilitation centers are where nursing assistants are most frequently seen. Interacting with patients while working as a nursing assistant enables the development of several valuable abilities, including empathy, compassion, and communication.

Because nursing assistants frequently have flexible hours, you might be able to attend school or participate in other extracurricular activities concurrently. It is significant to highlight that no set criteria for nursing assistant certification exist. Instead, certification is granted by the state upon the successful completion of a training program, which typically lasts 1-3 months, and a state certification exam.

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

You must complete a state-approved training course to become a certified nursing assistant. The Red Cross, hospitals, colleges, and other educational institutions offer these programs.

Potential Employers for a Certified Nursing Assistant:

  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Assisted living facilities

6. Phlebotomist

Average Income: USD 39,110

A career as a phlebotomist is a fantastic way to gain practical clinical experience and more one-on-one time with patients. 

Phlebotomists primarily take blood from patients. However, as they are guided through the procedure, or their nervousness is managed, you will also hone your patient communication skills.

Check the exact employment criteria everywhere you apply since many positions require you to pass a certification course or licensure exam first. For you to get started, some of these positions also include course or on-the-job training.

How to Become a Phlebotomist:

Phlebotomist aspirants must first complete their high school diploma or GED. It could be beneficial to take science and anatomy studies in high school. 

The next step is for people to enroll in a phlebotomy program, which typically lasts 4 to 8 months and results in certification. Trade, technical, and community colleges offer these kinds of programs.

Potential Employers for a Phlebotomist:

  • Medical labs
  • Doctors' offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Private home care
  • Research institutes
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Insurance companies
  • Blood donation centers

7. Community Developer

Average Income: USD 41,542

You need to have a specific number of clinical, volunteer, and research experiences for your pre-med checklist. But one method to distinguish yourself from other applicants is to get involved in roles that let you assume leadership responsibilities. 

Finding a specific problem in your community and developing a creative solution to address it is one method to achieve this.

For instance, if you worked at an assisted care facility, you might create your own wellness program, such as art workshops or even gym courses. Anything goes as long as it is important to you and helps improve your community's residents' lives.

This will ultimately help build your pre-med identity by demonstrating your problem-solving skills and ability to create a good, unselfish difference in your community.

How to Become a Community Developer

Decide on the issue you want to address or the program you want to enhance first. 

Next, develop a resource list and present your idea. Third, get a job where you want to help, then start your project.

Your project might be carried out in several locations, including a blood bank, a community center, or an assisted care facility. Consider what matters to you and what you feel you can change or better in your community. Suppose you are enthusiastic about assisting underprivileged and vulnerable people, for instance. In that case, your project can focus on the lack of overnight accommodations for homeless people in your area.

Potential Employers for a Community Developer:

  • Hospice
  • Blood bank
  • Nursing home
  • Orthopedic center
  • Assisted living center
  • Mental health and addiction medication center

8. Nonprofits/Humanitarian Aid

Average Income: NA

"Be the change you wish to see in the world," Gandhi once stated. 

Working for a non-profit company allows you to break the mold and make your imprint on a subject that is crying for it.

Since there are so many chances available, you are sure to benefit from them and demonstrate that you are attending medical school for the right reason: to assist others. Among the potential businesses are those that fight poverty, aid in disaster relief, and mentor young people.

It is always a fantastic method to accumulate volunteer hours for medical school and show admissions committees that you have the fundamental skills they're looking for.

How to Become a Non-Profit/Humanitarian Aid

These employment often do not require experience or training. 

Still, higher-profile companies will want you to stand out from other applicants considering the competitive field.

However, the program doesn't need to be well-known for you to have an impact. Find local non-profit and community initiatives, then lend your time and expertise to create change.

Potential Employers for a Non-Profit/Humanitarian Aid:

Additional FAQs – Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs

Are Gap Year Pre-Med Jobs Paid?

Although not all pre-medical positions are paid, most are. The compensation range will change depending on the work. 

Check employment boards and compensation notifications if you're looking for a paid pre-med gap year position.

Is It Important Whether My Pre-Med Job Is Paid or Unpaid?

The admissions committees do not care if you received a salary during your pre-medical career; therefore, no. What matters most are the actual experience, your learnings, and the talents you honed. 

Volunteering for no pay displays your generosity and commitment to helping others, which is a terrific asset on a resume.

Do I Need a Gap Year Job as a Pre-Med?

Absolutely. Your gap year is ideal for gaining experience and raising your prospects of later admission to medical school. You could also participate in extracurricular activities or MCAT prep during this period.

Do Pre-Med Gap Year Job Positions Require a Certification?

Some careers might require training or certification before you can begin. Be sure to check what credentials you need before you start and any charges involved with the activity, as some pre-med jobs will offer this training while others will not.

Can I Request a Letter of Recommendation from My Pre-Med Job Supervisor?

Yes. No matter where you go in your academic or professional career, networking and developing enduring relationships should come first. You should request a letter of recommendation if you have significant work experience at your current pre-medical position and your manager is familiar with you and your work.

You're no longer alone on your journey to becoming a physician

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