I’ve made a return to this forum after being away for 2 years. Back then I was planning to pursue a post bacc program but my finances weren’t in good order. However, this doctor thing is growing inside me like a beast and I can’t contain it anymore. Now, my finances are in good shape and I’m able to have a go at a post-bacc program full time. However, one thing remains. I don’t have any clinical, research, or volunteering exposure. I see most post-baccs want about 6 months of this as criterion for admission. I’ve been working in finance for the past 13 years and haven’t taken the time to get with it. But now that I am more seriously looking into post-bacc programs I want to get involved in volunteering. There are plenty of opportunities to do so at the local hospitals in NYC.
Does anyone have advice on how to find research assistant positions? There aren’t any at the hospitals I’m looking at. Don’t know any professors that I can call. But I would like to help out with routine research functions as another way to bolster my application.
As a side note, I’m 40 years old, have a BA in Psych and an MBA in finance. Failed my first bio and chem classes in college so gave up on being a doctor and changed major to Psych. But that was when I was an immature 19 year old. The doctor bug never dies it just lies dormant. I’ve since taken Calc 1, 2, 3, and differential equations just to prove I’m not stupid like I used to think I was.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Joe, and welcome back!
In regard to your question about research assistant positions–I assume you’re planning to keep your job and try to do this on the side? As such, it would be difficult to do that on a part-time basis. Most people looking for research assistants want them to work full time. But I think you’re slightly misguided in looking for research at this stage of the game. Instead, I would focus on getting clinical experience; post-bac programs prize that over research and it will be very important to have that as it proves you’ve tested your interest in medicine. You should start by contacting the volunteer offices at area hospitals and see what opportunities exist. You could also contact local clinics and see what you could do there, as well.
Thanks Liza! That’s very good advice. I did notice that the post-bacc program at CUNY Hunter in NYC helps students get research assistant positions while going through the program. So maybe that’ll be an avenue I can choose once in the program. At this point, I’ll take your advice and work on securing a hospital volunteer position. The hospitals in my area want the volunteer to do at least 4 hours a week and make a 6 month committment. That’s completely doable as I do plan to continue working full time and can volunteer on the weekend.
The four hours per week and six-month commitment is fairly standard practice among hospitals; remember that hospitals rely on volunteers to do many tasks so they need the commitment. You can perhaps add research as another component when you enroll in a post-bac program; many of them will help facilitate this.
Good luck on your journey to medical school!
I just started doing a diy post bacc at Hunter College and this summer I took Microbiology. I am considering applying for the formal program but my gpa is just so low. I currently volunteer in the emergency department at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center(It’s walking distance from the Hunter main campus). You should definitely consider it. I started last month. I mailed in an application and got an interview.
- Biscuit23 Said:
I just started doing a diy post bacc at Hunter College and this summer I took Microbiology. I am considering applying for the formal program but my gpa is just so low. I currently volunteer in the emergency department at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center(It's walking distance from the Hunter main campus). You should definitely consider it. I started last month. I mailed in an application and got an interview.
That's awesome news! You certainly picked an excellent hospital. I'll look into NY Pres. and see what they have to offer. I live in Astoria, Queens and was thinking about volunteering at one of the hospitals there. But I work in Midtown so either Manhattan or Queens would work for me. Keep up the good work at school. I'm going to apply to Hunter for the Fall of 2014 and see what happens. I see that Stonybrook has a decent program too so that's an option, although the travel may be a bit too much.
Take care and good luck.