Can You Have a Job Whilst At Medical School?

The pros and cons of working as a medical student and some suggestions as to what types of jobs might be beneficial.

May 2021
Sakina Lakda (Blogger)
UCL - 2nd Year Medical Student

Can you work while studying Medicine?

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‍Yes! Taking up part-time or summer work alongside your medical degree can be a great way to broaden your experiences, interests and enrich your skills outside your medical degree. However, due to the intense nature of medical school, it is definitely worth considering the pros and cons of seeking employment while being a medical student.

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Before considering any employment, make sure to check the policy at your university as it can vary significantly between different institutions.  Some universities, such as Oxford, prefer students to work part-time jobs within their college only, thus limiting the employment opportunities available.  Furthermore, some, but not all, universities put limitations on the maximum number of hours a week that medical students are allowed to work.

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‍What are the benefits of working whilst studying Medicine?

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However, saying this, there are alternative ways of achieving the benefits outlined above. For example, with regard to alleviating financial burden, many universities offer the opportunity to apply for bursaries, scholarships and grants. Make sure to check with your individual medical school and university to see whether you may be eligible for this. Likewise, through other activities, for example, participation in university clubs and societies, you are likely to develop skills that you may have gained in a part-time job and also build your social network.

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What are the disadvantages of working whilst studying Medicine?

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‍How many hours of work a week is manageable for a medical student?

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This depends on your personal routine, circumstances and schedule. Many students take up part-time tutoring jobs ranging from 1-4hrs a week, while others work full days over the weekend. Jobs that are remote or online such as teaching can be more convenient and save you time and costs of commuting.

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What jobs can a medical student do?

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‍There are many jobs that you can do as a medical student, ranging from healthcare to non-healthcare related. Below are some examples of ideas!

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Healthcare related:

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Non-healthcare related:

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Working in a non-healthcare related job can be equally fulfilling and enable you to pursue other hobbies and interests that you may not have the chance to otherwise delve into as a medical student. In addition, it can also be an opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and gain transferrable professional and interpersonal skills!

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Summary

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The decision to work as a medical student is a very personal one and will often depend on respective circumstances and career goals. This will differ for each student – remember to consider your motivations and your ability to manage your time. For some students, working part-time throughout the year may be a priority, whereas other students may consider working during their summer break. It is worth keeping in mind that your studies will most likely take the majority of your time, especially during your pre-clinical years of medical school. Given the copious demands of medicine, remember to find a balance between your friends and hobbies to prevent burnout and improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.

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Author: Sakina Lakda

Editor: Allegra Wisking

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