Can I have a job whilst at medical school?

The simple answer is yes. Whether it is because you enjoy financial independence or you need to support yourself whilst at medical school, many of you might be wondering if and how it is possible.

It boils down to 2 things, the hours you work and the job you work.

Starting with the former, the hours you work play a big part in how well you can find a balance between medical school and a job. Realistically it is not feasible to work a full-time job, when speaking to my peers who have worked whilst at medical school, the average amount of hours they spend at work each week is around 8-10 hours. This is the number of hours they felt they could handle on top of lectures, independent study and balancing a healthy social life.

Regarding the types of jobs people work, this varies significantly. When speaking to my peers, the work they did varied from being a street performer to working in retail. A popular avenue that many medical students go down is tutoring. As someone who tutors myself, the ability to pick my prices, means that I don’t find myself having to work an unmanageable number of hours each week. It also means that I can adapt my work schedule to my university schedule, so during times of exams and lots of lectures, I keep my tutoring load quite light, and pick up more shifts when I have less commitments when it comes to university.

Another option that you might want to consider is signing up to campus jobs as a school or college ambassador. This allows you to work at events such as open days, offer holder days and interview days, whilst this is not consistent work, it is something you could consider doing on the odd Saturday or during the holidays for a bit of extra money. It allows you to speak and engage with future medical students, giving them any advise you wish you were given, or just making sure they are on the right tracks.

Lastly, many medical students decide to work over summer and during the holidays and save up, this helps to ease the pressure on having employment during the semester. You don’t have to spend all of your summer working, but between years 0-1, 1-2 and 2-3, the summer holidays you get are considerably long.

At the end of the day whatever job you end up choosing, make sure it is not too taxing, and the hours you work are appropriate. It is very possible to have a job whilst at medical school, just make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew!

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