What are you doing for your gap year? (just in case you don’t know…gap year is when a student takes a break in between undergraduate and professional school.)
People usually take a gap year (or years) to take a break from school, travel the world, study for the MCAT, apply to professional school, work to make some moolah…etc.
I have had a couple of different medical positions that I’d thought I share:
I started scribing during my fourth year of college and a bit after. A scribe basically ‘shadows’ a physician during a patient’s visit (emergency room or clinic visit) and documents the patient’s history of present illness, review of system, procedure notes, patient exam and progress notes into the electronic medical record. This position gives you an actual representation of what the physician’s day of work looks like. As a scribe, you have no patient contact! There are scribe volunteer positions as well as paid positions.
(picture: patient leaves a note before being seen by a physician!)
During my second year of college, I was adamant about getting my emergency medical technician-basic (EMT-B) certification which qualified me to get onto a rescue squad. As an EMT-B, you can either lead calls for basic calls (talking to the patient/figuring out the plan of action best for the patient) or assist paramedics during advanced calls by taking vitals and documenting. I was on the rescue squad for a couple of years, committing to volunteering weekly, until school and having a full-time job didn’t allow me to have extra time to volunteer. I hope to return to a rescue squad one day! I loved every minute with my EMS family. You learn a lot from each call and from your EMS family (esp those with years of experience!).
I am currently a cartiographic tech and love it (can you tell I love all the positions I have had?! hehe). As a cartiographic tech, I set up patients for their stress test (putting on leads, connecting patients to the monitor, read baseline EKGs, take blood pressures..etc.) I love how each patient comes in with a different story on why they’re at the heart station for a stress test. I have met so many kind patients (there are difficult ones too 🙂 ) and so glad to be a part of their journey to better health. I wish them all the best!
I know my list only contains medical related positions, but one thing I wish I’ve learned earlier was to have a non-medical position. We have the rest of our lives taking care of patients, so why not do something out of the medical field before starting school?
Random note: I have always wanted to live abroad for a bit and hope that when I get an *acceptance* to medical school, I would spend a month (or two!) living abroad (I’m thinking Spain, Ecuador, Italy, Vietnam or Thailand?) and learn a new language! Life goals.
If you have any questions, just ask me!
image via Google.