What are the best kinds of employment are best suited for pre-medical students? You could probably argue many reasons for why many different jobs out there are the best for a pre-medical student, but it really depends on what kind of experience you personally feel would be the best for you and your application.
If you are looking for actual employment opportunities, then that may depend on your experience and whether or not you have any certifications in anything in the health care field, although not everything needs a certification. Here are some things that I, or someone I know, has done for employment during pre-med track.
- Phlebotomy, EMT, CNA or Medical Assistant
- These careers are great for those who want to be able to put down on their application that they have what is known as “clinical hours.” This is basically time that you have had some direct interaction with patients. These hours are probably the most difficult hours for aspiring doctors to get before applying to medical school. The only problem with these positions, in most cases, is that you will need some sort of certification so as long as you are willing to put in time.
- Most pre-med students I know become scribes. You go through a relatively easy training to get you familiar with medical terms and such and then a hospital hires you to keep notes of patients so that the physicians don’t have to. I personally have never done this, but my friends say that this is basically a step up from shadowing because you actually are dealing more with medical records, rather than just standing there and observing. I am told that a lot of scribes only work either a few times a month to only a few times a week so it might not be a job to provide sufficient income if that’s what you are looking for.
- Research Assistant/ Lab Technician
- This is the area that I have been the most involved in. Medical schools do appreciate it when you can get involved with research because that is how medicine is able to advance as time goes on. It really is exciting to be able to research a particular hypothesis and see how it applies to the real world. If you are lucky to get into translational or clinical research, then you might even get exposed to more of the things going on in the hospital setting versus just sitting at a bench looking at bacteria all day. The issue with this is that most places, who post research assistant and lab technician positions, only want to hire people who already have research experience. So you might have to start as an intern just to get experience under your belt before you can even turn it into a paying job.
- Hospital/ Clinic Secretary (Clerk)
- From what I am told, this is great to get you experience within the hospital environment and can even help be a springboard to enable you to get to know some physicians. The only downside to it is that you might have more time spent with the business side of how a hospital is run, rather than having those doctor shadowing or patient exposure hours.
- Medical Interpreter
- This only really works if you have bilingual capabilities and your local hospital/clinic is in need of such skills. Most of the time, this would fall under the “certifications” category because most places want professionally trained interpreters for their patients. However it is possible to do it without being licensed as I have done some interpreting at a local pediatric clinic.
So there are the big ones that I am familiar with. I do not have experience in all of the above mentioned jobs so there may be someone with experience in one of these areas that doesn’t agree, but hopefully these are a good start for anyone who is interested.
For those who are simply wondering more about extra curriculars, you are free to read a previous post I made concerning it by clicking here. I plan on making a more detailed list I the upcoming weeks regarding that post.
Good luck with the job hunt!