Should you work during medical school? | Medical School Admissions Physician

Many students worry about how to pay for their education, particularly during periods of inflation and concerns about a possible economic downturn. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average medical school debt for 2021 graduates it was $200,000, not including undergraduate debt, with most schools continuing to increase tuition.

Most medical school deans of student affairs will suggest that medical students not take a job. Medicine School it’s your job. There was an old saying that you were married to medicine, once you started medical school. I remember saying after graduation that I was glad I chose to study medicine, but glad I didn’t know how much work medical school would cost me before I started.

During my undergraduate years, I held up to four part-time positions at a time. During medical school, I didn’t have a job unless you count work during vacations.

Reviewing four years of medical school for extra time for employment highlights the obstacles.

The first year and a half or two years, especially, are extremely demanding, with large amounts of work and often the first board exam. Then you get to services, and there will often be weekends or nights. hospital responsibilities that conflict with many jobs.

Your senior year, residency applications and interviews will take longer. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual interview It can give you more leeway to look for some part-time work if there is flexibility. Remember, too, that the residency match is in March and is often followed by an apartment hunt on the weekends before graduation. “Free time” during senior year is often spent completing research projects and writing scientific papers.

There are many more considerations before jumping into a job. The first thing I suggest is to have a very clear idea of ​​a budget, and to do it early. Predict what your rent, food, transportation, tuition, and other necessary expenses will be. Schools usually provide this information online.

If you can’t find the budget information you need, ask your dean of student affairs or financial aid officer. Once you assess any shortfalls, you can project pay for medical school, ask about grants or scholarships available to you. Don’t be shy about this.

If your financial situation is not healthy, let them know why. Your parents may not be able or willing to pay for whatever reason. Perhaps your school debt from the undergraduate program you attended is too high. Yes, you will have submitted this information to medical schools before, but again make your case. No medical school administrator wants to see students suffer and will do cartwheels to try to get funding from some donor or other to help.

Let’s say this attempt fails and you have to look we lend. There are lower-interest federal loans and higher-interest private loans. You really want to avoid the latter, though some private loans have lower rates for applicants with excellent credit history, and make sure you make that clear in your “pleading dialogue.” student loan debt sorry or cancellation occurs in some cases, but it is not a guarantee.

My advice to first-year medical students who decide they must work is no more than four hours at first. See how that goes for a semester. Talk to upper class students at all levels and ask them about their work experience.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking, “I was an A student in the past and I can drive 20 hours just like I did before I graduated from college.” Forget it. You have never been around as many smart students as you will see in medical school.

If you find that four hours works well and you don’t have to miss out on sleep or exercise, increase to eight hours. Just be careful not to overdo your work and fall behind academically. If you do and have to extend your time in medical school, it will cost you a lot more in tuition, rent, food, transportation, and other expenses.

It’s also important to consider what kinds of jobs offer you good returns and what time of day you can work. Students who train others for the MCAT they can control their time more easily and earn decent money.

Research can be a great option, and if you study efficiently, you can increase these hours while building good relationships with faculty. You may already have the skill set that many principal investigators need, putting you at the top of your list of job possibilities.

Most professors doing research know that medical students are motivated and are likely to view their applications for these jobs very favorably. Looking at your school and hospital online job sites, networking with upper-class students, and asking teachers for advice are all productive ways to identify these positions.

Waiting tables and being a waiter in more expensive restaurants can be lucrative, but it can reduce your sleep or study time. Jobs that cause delayed or shortened sleep are concerning, as sleep deprivation can lead to depression in vulnerable people. Depression and anxiety they’re not what you want to tease in med school. Lack of energy, lack of focus, poor grades, and a host of other consequences caused by depression or anxiety are not worth the extra money.

If you work as a waiter or bartender, ask for Friday and Saturday shifts, which allow for the least conflict with your main study periods.

There are many challenges in medicine, but the profession brings a lot of satisfaction and meaning to life. When preparing for medical school, especially during tough financial times, apply for grants and scholarships from all available avenues as a first step. Second, set your budget. The money saved now will be worth it later when you consider borrowing in the future.

Financial aid officers can teach you many ways to save money. Ask for money gifts for birthdays, holidays and graduation. Do not reduce your sleep more than the medical school curriculum requires. If you take care of your body, it will serve you well for years to come. Be considerate and cautious about taking on more responsibilities than you can juggle.

If you take a job, tiptoe to the shallow end before committing to long hours. He wants to be successful in medical school and beyond, and stay healthy as a good role model for his patients.

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