Importance on Extracurricular Activities

I’m a nontrad student who just graduate few years ago. I have taken 2 gap years as of right now and I’m currently focusing on taking classes in a DIY Postbacc and sustaining a full time job. With these two activities, it took majority of my time during the week. However, I understand that medical school are looking for sustain direct patient interaction throughout my gap year. The issue is that with working and schooling, how would it possible to manage volunteering or getting another job to demonstrate that I really want to be a doctor. I have volunteered at a local hospital for 6 years and left couple years ago to focus on school and work. Now, after listening to the podcast, the adcom wanted continuous direct patient care. I was wondering if I should focus on direct patient care such as getting an EMT job on top of full time job and post bacc. I cannot quit my full time job as that job is keeping me a float of rent, bills, and etc. Should I put more focus on getting those direct patient interaction activities or getting into a part time research assistant (if possible). How do people here does it? Some advice would definitely help.

This is my opinion, so take it as such, but I think that your extracurriculars on your med school application need to show 2 things: 1) That you are not a study robot, and have experiences outside of the classroom, and 2) that you understand what being a doctor is like on a day-to-day basis. If you can frame your experiences in such a way that meets the above criteria, you should be good to go.

Things will vary from school to school, but I got accepted with no volunteer experience on my application. It’s just something I didn’t have time to fit in between work, school and taking care of my family.

Completely agree. I also had 0 volunteer hours, and my exposure to physicians was limited to 40 hours of shadowing.

The only thing I would add is that when writing about your experiences/extracurrics, frame them in a way that shows development of the characteristics that medical schools are theoretically looking for a la the AAMC core competencies.
It’s not so much about the WHAT you did but the WHY you did it and what you took away from the experiences when writing up your application.