Flex Year Ideas

Does anyone have some good ideas/suggestions for a flex year? I’ll be done with Pre-Med in December '12, but won’t be able to matriculate until Fall of '14. That means around 18 months of the MCAT and I have no idea what else. Education is great, but a break from it may be nice before med school. Anyone have any ideas of something both unique and helpful to a Med School application?


I’ll tell you what I did and was planning to do, which are two ideas of how to spent that time.

During my post-bacc I volunteered at the trauma center in Baltimore. My charge nurse offered me a job as a CNA, so I worked full time there during my glide year. It was for the experience and not the money. My original plan was to get my EMT-B, which I did at a local community college, and volunteer with the local volunteer fire department riding the ambulance. However, somehow I was granted my CNA license from my EMT-B and I went to work at the trauma center instead.

Hope this helps.

Hi James,

I’ve just been through the same issue. I finished pre-req’s Dec 11, and now I won’t start med school until the fall of 2013 at the earliest. I start tomorrow as a tech in an optometrist’s office. By the time I (hopefully!) start interviewing, I’ll have a decent chunk of experience interacting with patients, taking medical histories, etc. I had planned on taking the MCAT in early May, but am now eyeing late May (we’ll see how I feel after the first week of work).

The main focus of my gap 1.5 yrs intended to be MCAT and work (because I need the income), but I did my best to find something that could give me the most marketable experience I could quickly qualify for, and that’s patient interaction. (I also can’t wait to wear scrubs to work!) I have research experience, and hopefully once the MCAT is out of the way I can get back to volunteering in the lab again.

I think a lot will depend on your financial and family situation. Me, I’d pick up for a year and volunteer abroad if I could, but I can’t. Find the strengths and weaknesses in your application and find a few select activities that will play up your strong points and improve upon the weaker areas.

I’d be interested in hearing what everyone else has to say as well.

There’s also those special Pre-Med master degrees to take a look at. Most of those would award a Master’s Degree in some kind of science field and takes usually 11-months to complete. Of course they aren’t offered everywhere but if you have a state medical school that offers such programs it might be we worth checking out. Plus this could also look good as a resume builder when applying for medical school.