Inflexible jobs and scheduling pre-med experiences

How do those of us with chained-to-our-desks corporate jobs schedule stuff like volunteering, shadowing, and interviewing? At my job, though one can shift one’s work day slightly earlier or later as one chooses, the “core working hours” are 9:30 to 3:30 (meaning you cannot come in any later than 9:30 or leave any earlier than 3:30), and I could get asked to stay late on any given day when some “emergency” comes up (it’s just corporate IT stuff, which I never consider a real emergency, but with my supervisor everything has to be done yesterday, because he’s into the politics of it all and wants to boost his career.) I’ve already used one of my “personal floating holidays”, of which I have 2, for shadowing this year; I don’t have enough time off to make a habit of that. I just got a call yesterday from the coordinator of a pre-med volunteer program at a local hospital, asking me to come in for an interview, even though my application was late. She asked me to come in at 10:30. There’s really no way I could do that other than calling in sick, which I hate to do because it’s lying. When I told here that was a difficult time because of my work schedule, she also told me to consider whether I could make the time commitments of the program; I might not always be able to schedule ER time in the evening or on the weekend.
I’m thinking I’m going to have to turn this down because of these scheduling issues, and that frustrates me incredibly. I’ve also wondered how I would schedule an interview for a post-bacc, other than by calling in sick, and of course there’s the question of shadowing on a regular basis, which I have no idea how I’d do. How do those of you with jobs like mine do it, especially single guys who can’t fall back on the “kids” excuse?

Hi there,
Your “shadowing” experience does not have to be anything as formal as what you have described. It can be as simple as rounding with a physician on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a couple of hours. Most docs are less rushed during the weekend and would appreciate the company. You might also think in terms of a couple of hours here and there as opposed to shifts of time. There are plenty of free clinics that have docs that you might be able to spend a couple of hours with on a weekend or later in the day. Check these out.

The free health clinic that I volunteered at was open 3 evenings per week till 9 pm. Have you checked your area to see about the free clinics? Here is a link to see if there is one in your neighborhood.…+&
You could also check out your area’s nursing homes and see what they have available. My son used to go and help in bingo games and reading to the older folks on Saturday’s.