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Summer Job Ideas for a MS1/MS2

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  • Summer Job Ideas for a MS1/MS2

    I'm an MS1 who is interested in going into emergency medicine. I'm wondering what people on here think would be the best way to utilize my time off from mid may-mid july this summer. Many of my classmates are going to be doing research, especially those interested in dermatology, ophthalmology, or ortho. From what I've heard from different ER docs and a talk by the program director here at my university, matching into ER is going to come down to scoring a minimum 220 on step1 and ideally in the 230+ range, and then doing well in my rotations and getting a good letter. Research doesn't seem to be that important in Emergency Medicine which I'm fine with, I did a lot of research as a pre-med but it was certainly never my passion. Am I better off reaching out to an ER doc here at my academic institution and doing some sort of research, or should I get a job and try to eat away at tuition costs? If so what do you think would be a good job for a medical student? Or maybe I'm better off using the time to study hard for step1 and get ahead. What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    I spent my summer between MS1 and MS2 (20 years ago) delivering pizza and umpiring little league baseball games.

    With strong grades, step1/2 scores, rotations and letters, I do not think what you do this summer makes a huge difference.  This is your last free summer and I chose to hang out with friends and make a little money.

    Things may be different now and I would hate to diminish your chances based on some bad advice.   


    • #3
      Research and reaching out to your institutions Ed docs and getting involved.

      Making $5k over the summer is not going to out a huge dent into your loans.

      I'm too far removed to say if step 1 studying is worth it over summer, but I had first aid annotated during my entire second year.


      • #4
        If you want to match into l p much *anything*, you'll need a 220 on Step 1. That's only slightly hyperbole. Google "NRMP Charting Outcomes" to see what you need for what specialties.

        Finding something that will pique the interest of the selection committee is the key. That can be highly variable depending in who's reading applications. Everyone else applying has a medical academic side, so is doing something *more* academic going to put you higher on the interview priority list or the match rank list? (The other side to that coin is that if everyone else is doing it, you're behind if you don't.) In some programs it definitely might; others might not want that at all. Some programs have a wilderness tilt; maybe there's some positions at a remote aid station somewhere. Some programs are big into pre-hospital care or have EMS fellowships; maybe you can get something with an ambulance or fire service.

        Purely as an MS1-2 you don't have any particular clinical skills that anyone really *needs*, unless you have other training from the past like EMT, lab, nursing, etc. My buddy spent a few months with the London Air Ambulance; it took up a big part of the conversation at most of his 9 EM interviews. The old EMT-Ps did some work over the summers which also helped their standing.

        So I'd do something cool but still somewhat EM-related that won't tax your brain too much and make you stand out on your application. Otherwise I'd just chill out by the pool with a beer and First Aid. Don't worry about trying to pay your med school debt now; you'll be spitting into the ocean. Maybe put a little into Roth IRA or keep it as emergency money.

        I tell early med students that every second of every day between now and match day is about getting into the specialty you want. You eat, sleep, exercise, relax, and have fun because it keeps your brain and body in a good state to study and perform well in classes, on Step 1, on your rotations, and to look as good as possible on paper to get you in the door for those interviews. If you're burning the candle at both ends 12 months a year just doing what the others are doing, it might not be the best use of your energy or precious time away from class.


        • #5
          Thanks for all the replies. Im getting some great advice. I appreciate it.


          • #6
            I taught MCAT classes. Made some decent money, I think it looked good on applications, and it was only a few classes a week at most so it's not like it took up all of my time


            • #7
              i would recommend travel if at all possible.

              imo, bang for your buck with time is aceing step 1.  doors open with high scores.

              when i talk to my friends who are er guys and they are in residency selection season, they have nicknames for the guys they remember.  we want the karate guy.  we want the motorcycle girl.  think about how to craft an interesting application.



              • #8
                I recommend doing research and get paid while doing research.   That was what I did.  You may never know what you end up applying with 100% certainty.


                • #9
                  I'm a dentist, so can't offer anything for matching.

                  I can say, that 15 years after school, I wish I'd been on a Grand Canyon trail crew, camp counselor, ski patrol (not summer, obviously). I've been exceptionally fortunate, and maybe if I hadn't followed the path I'm did, I wouldn't be where I am, but I cannot help but look back and wish I'd had a few miles detours along the road.

                  Best of luck!


                  • #10
                    I taught MCAT prep through Kaplan, very good money/hour for a part time job.

                    If you have the opportunity to do a job that people would be genuinely interested in hearing about on the interview trail, do it. Trail guide, surf instructor, got your app into the Apple Store, whatever. Something that will make people remember you positively 5 minutes after you leave the interview.

                    Failing either of those options, do whatever you want as long you don't end up in jail ????


                    • #11
                      I spent part of that summer working as a parking valet at a country club, while also doing a workstudy type thing at a physician's office.  No one on the interview trail for residency asked me about the physician's office; half my interviews asked me about valeting - what kinds of cars I saw, etc to see if I can carry on a conversation about something other than medicine.  Considering this will be your last free summer for about 7 years, just enjoy it , hang with friends etc.  Then study really really hard your MS2 year for step 1.


                      • #12
                        I just noticed your name has "badger" in it.  Must be a UWisc student.  UW has the Shapiro Summer Research program still, no?