Regrouping, does EMT cert hurt me?

After a bit of a mishap with my MCAT this year, I am planning to hold off my application one more cycle so I can retake the test in January. I’m due to finish my undergrad degree in May and was tossing the idea around of getting EMT certified. At the same time, I plan to continue to take additional courses as well as keep up with my internship with one of the research labs at the local med school. The P.I. has offered me a small project to take over, and I’m quite happy with the experience.

The issue comes in with the EMT certification. My husband seems to think it’s a step backwards for me to do it. He says that it makes no sense for me to get a job that has nothing to do with my degree and that I should concentrate on either getting my P.I. to pay me for my work at the lab, or find a job relevant to my field of study.

I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s another avenue to gain more clinical experience, but he thinks that five years as a PCT/telemetry tech was good enough. Personally, I don’t think getting an EMT would hurt one bit, as it involves a higher, more direct level of patient care than I’ve been able to provide before with the limited domain of PCTs. Besides, the closest job related to my degree I can get is over 400 miles from home, and he is certainly not going to leave his nice salary behind to follow me for a meager research assistant position.

What do you guys think, yay or nay on EMT and post-bac?

I actually went through this process a month ago and opted NOT to take an EMT cert class/get certified.

The overall consensus from talking to post-bacc advisors and reading on other boards was that without anything backing it (actually working the EM field), getting a cert didn’t help with med school admission.

I didn’t get the sense that it was regarded as bad per se but more just neutral. For me, it wasn’t worth the time and effort for what I was looking for (med school) and that my time was better spent studying or trying to get my name attached to a research paper.

Of course this is from my perspective and situation so all the caveats apply.

Given your experience, I don’t think the EMT certification will necessary help (since you clearly have experience with patients) but it certainly won’t hurt! I’m in a similar boat…I haven’t taken my MCATs and I’m graduating with a BS in Pharmacology this May. I’ve worked as a surgical technologist for 8 years, but I’m just starting to explore what I can do with my “year off.” My advice is to do what you think will serve you best…enjoy it, and save what you can!

Thank you both for your input. I see the point of it being more helpful when it has a relationship to the future field, in this case EM. If eventually I get into med school, I wanted to do EM. I worked at both a cardiac step down unit and a trauma center, and of the two, I preferred the experience of the latter.

My P.I. will apply for an apprenticeship grant for me, so maybe it will be moot. In the meantime, I guess I can always keep looking and doing more volunteering with my extra free time.

with your experience in telemetry, don’t bother with the EMT. Maybe take the CCI test to become a Certified Cardiographic Technician so you have the certification for what you were doing. Keep up the lab work. retake the MCAT. You will be fine.