Will this hurt me?

So here’s the dilemma. I’d like to take a year off after school and also so I have adequate time to make sure I apply the very first day I can, I have time to do interviews, etc. The problem? Well, I make such a pathetic amount at my job working as an EMT that I won’t be able to pay my bills without the crutch of financial aid to help. And that’s without the loan payment. Now, I’m sure there’s jobs out there that will pay decently and will be flexible with me as far as taking time off to do interviews, however, I refuse to count on that since it’s far from a guarantee.

The ambulance company I work for now is extremely lenient and understanding of both school and applying to medical school, so while it doesn’t pay that great, I will have no trouble getting time off work to study for MCAT, go to interviews, etc. so for that reason also I am reluctant to wait since this is probably a better situation than most people have as far as employer goes.

So my options are basically to apply in my junior year at Davis like most people do. I believe the AMCAS can first be submitted on June 5th. I just checked and the spring quarter at Davis finishes on June 12th, so I figure worst case scenario I could get the primaries out within 2 weeks of the opening date.

MCAT I’ll probably have to take at about the same time…I’ll just have to study for the MCAT while I’m taking physics 3, ochem 3 and systemic physiology…those are the only classes I’ll be taking so only 13 units, and pretty much all of that will be on the MCAT I figure, so I may not need as much MCAT prep separately since I’ll be actively learning the material on it. I’ll probably work 8 hours at most instead of 24 hours every week and use those 16 extra hours per week to study for the MCAT.

Now, the big question I’m wondering is will it hurt me to apply a year before I finish my degree without any research experience and having not taken that many classes with which to try to obtain LORs from? I have a quarter of original research that is required for my major which I will be taking the last quarter of my senior year, however, I don’t think I can list that since it’s a future activity so I will be applying with no research experience.

The LORs is the other thing I’m curious about. When should I try to solicit them if I’m applying not this summer but next summer? During the winter? Whatabout Davis’ committee letter? How many LORs is generally accepted if there’s a pre-med committee, or is the committee letter in place of those LORs? Any advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks.